Still no sales data

Since the market re-opened (in England on 13th May) we’ve had lots of anecdotal indications on what is happening to the housing market and more importantly to prices and we’ve had some detail on asking prices but we have yet to see any concrete data on what buyers have been offering and more importantly what sellers have been accepting.

Data out the week from Rightmove confirms that asking prices slipped back nationally when compared to last month but they are over 4% higher than there were a year ago

The UK House Price Index for May 2020 (which includes estimates for April) estimates will be published by the Office for National Statistics on 2nd September. June’s report we will see on 16th September, July’s on 7th October and August on 21st October.

Average asking price data looks at the 150k new listings but it doesn’t reflect what buyers may have offered for these particular listings or the price that these sellers may accept. It will include all those properties that don’t sell which can be as much as 50%.

It’s clear now that there has been a post Lock Down burst and I know of deals done at pre-Covid prices although I don’t understand why people offered them. Estate agents need to catch up on a quarters worth of lost business so they have been keen to get as many instructions as possible.

With prices widely expected to slip over the coming months there really are only two reasons why I think someone should be thinking of buying a property before we get the actual sales data in September – if they have a life-changing event such as expecting a baby or if they think there may be oil under the property concerned!

Perhaps the UK housing market isn’t going to be buffeted by the biggest global event since the Second World War but why bet on it? If I’m wrong then you may end up paying what you would pay today but is anyone really expecting house prices to be HIGHER in twelve months time?