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Homebuyers ‘have wider choice of properties coming on the market’

The choice of homes on the market is starting to pick up, particularly for buyers looking for family-sized houses, a property website has reported.

Zoopla said the volume of new listings of homes for sale is now running at 5% above the five-year average.

New supply is up compared with pre-coronavirus pandemic levels for this time of year in Scotland, the East Midlands, the north east of England and Yorkshire, and is matching its pre-pandemic levels in the north west of England and West Midlands, Zoopla said.

New listings have risen for all property types in the first two months of the year compared with 2021, particularly for three and four-bedroom detached family homes, it added.

This will create more choice for the many buyers active in the market

Grainne Gilmore, Zoopla

Zoopla put the average UK house price at £244,100 – which it said is about £80,000 higher than a decade ago.

In a sign of the continued strength of demand for properties, in January, half of all homes where sales were agreed were snapped up within three weeks of coming to market, compared to a third of properties during the same period last year.

Grainne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla said: “The sheer level of activity in the market in recent years eroded the stock of homes for sale.

“But the data indicates that more homes are now coming to the market, as movers and other owners list their properties for sale, and this will create more choice for the many buyers active in the market.”

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Buyers are coming under increasing pressure. Even if they decide they can take the interest rate rises in December and February on the chin, rising prices may be enough to cool their enthusiasm.

“With much higher energy bills hitting the nation’s doormats, the cost of filling up at the forecourt soaring, and higher prices on everything from food to furniture, there will come a time when a bigger mortgage feels like a step too far.”

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