What impact has summer holidays and the heatwave had on the Reading property market?

Village Properties- Aug 22 Newsletter - Ice Cream


Charlie HiggsWhat impact has summer holidays and the heatwave had on the Reading property market?

Charlie Higgs – Owner Village Properties

The Reading property market in August is traditionally a more relaxed month in the estate agency business, a time we normally have a break, take stock and prepare for the autumn surge of home movers looking to be moved in before Christmas.

Although as we’ve seen for much of this year, 2022 has not been a normal year, so we shouldn’t be surprised when the summer months continue to buck the trend. Last month’s increase in the volume of stock coming to the market was a good indicator of the change in seasonal trends, and this has continued this month.

As with the previous month, August has seen an uncharacteristic increase in the number of properties coming on to the market from both our existing office in Tilehurst as well as our recently opened office in Twyford.

The increase in the number of new properties coming to the market this month has gone some way to easing the supply issues that have caused the buyer frenzy and property price rises we’ve seen for much of 2022. The availability of new stock has been welcomed by local buyers that have struggled to find a home in recent months, and despite the holiday season, there remains strong buyer demand, although at more civilised levels than earlier in the year.

Reading Property Prices

Along with the rest of the country, the Reading area has experienced significant buyer demand this year and this has put upward pressure on property prices for much of this year. The property portal Rightmove confirm this in their monthly ‘House price Index’ reporting that prior to August there were six consecutive record breaking months of increases in average asking prices.

Although in August, Rightmove reported a drop of 1.3% nationally. Putting things into perspective, we normally see property prices drop in August and this year is on a par with the average August drop over the past ten years. Whilst sellers don’t like to see a drop in prices, it’s encouraging to see some semblance of normality returning to the property market.

Rightmove suggests the reason for the drop, as in previous years, is fairly predictably with summer holidays taking priority for many people. This combined with some summer sellers pricing their homes more competitively to secure a buyer quickly in the hope of beating the lengthy average time to completion, and move home before Christmas.

The report also confirms that the buyer demand issue we’ve seen for much of the previous 12 months seems to be easing with more property stock coming to the market, this is in line with our own experience locally, although the imbalance remains.

The ‘House Price Index’ notes that buyer enquiries are down 4% on the buoyant market of 2021, but remain 20% higher than in 2019 and whilst new listings are up by 12% on the same period last year, they are still 6% down on 2019 and available stock is down 39% on 2019.

How much have asking prices increased in 20 years? 

August marks 20 years of Rightmove’s House Price Index, with national average asking prices more than doubling in those 20 years (+134%), from £155,994 to £365,173, outstripping both salaries and general inflation.

Mortgage interest rates

Mortgage interest rates have increased in line with the Bank of England’s base rate increases, most recently earlier this month from 1.25% to 1.75%, this, the largest of the 6 previous rate increases since December of 2021 at 0.5%, making the current rate the highest for 14 years.

Whilst mortgage interest rates are increasing, buyers can insulate themselves against future rate rises by taking advantage of the many fixed-rate mortgage deals that are currently on offer. Buyers can also lock in longer mortgage terms to bring more certainty to their outgoings, particularly when some lenders are offering virtually the same rate for either two-year and five-year fixed rate deals.

Considering Selling Your Home this autumn?

If you are thinking of selling your home in Tilehurst, Twyford or the surrounding areas of Reading, please call me to arrange an informal conversation about how we might help you with this.

You can also book a Face to Face Valuation, or use our Instant Online Valuation tool.

Charlie Higgs – Village Properties Tilehurst & Twyford   

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