Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, says:
“Historically, January is a slower month for house price growth as people pause and take stock of their finances at the start of a New Year. However, this year, the market continued to defy expectations and house prices climbed 9.6% in the first month of the year.
“The increase in property prices across the UK can be attributed to the gap in demand and levels of stock in the market. The solid momentum in prices has put homeowners looking to move in a strong position to sell for a premium, while first time buyers will have to lower expectations or continue saving in the current market.
“As we look ahead to the Spring, we can expect to see a wave of newly listed properties to the market, which could contribute to the easing of house price growth. Added to this will be the further pinch to household spending, with energy bills set to rise from April coupled with elevated fuel and food costs. We can expect to see a consequent dampening of activity that will subdue the rise in house prices that we are currently experiencing.
“For now, demand for property continues to remain high, with the pandemic having made a lasting impact on the way people want to live and work. To best meet the demand for properties as well as meet consumers’ desire to receive information upfront and without delay, we strongly urge property professionals to deploy the technological tools at their disposal to keep up with the pace of change.
“Digital solutions have developed at an unprecedented rate, and there is a growing expectation that they are deployed at all stages of the property transaction process. So much so that Land Registry has requested the digital submission of AP1 applications by November, which is just one example of their commitment to enshrining further digital ways of working in the industry. The chance to ‘opt out’ of the digital future of the property market are fading fast and will ultimately create a more efficient system for all.”