One in eight homes sold in August ‘went for above the asking price’

Around one in eight homes that were sold in August went for more than the original asking price – marking the highest proportion in nearly five years – according to estate agents.

Some 13% of properties sold last month went for over their initial price tag, which was the highest proportion recorded by NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents) Propertymark since November 2015.

In July, 8% of properties sold went for above the asking price.

However, the majority (53%) of properties still sold for less than the original asking price in August.

A temporary stamp duty cut and the release of pent-up demand into the housing market after it was effectively shut down earlier this year due to coronavirus restrictions have given the market a boost, various housing market reports have suggested.

An average of 12 sales were agreed per branch in August – up from nine typically a year earlier.

It was the highest sales-per-branch figure for the month of August since 2007, when an average of 12 sales were also made per branch.

However, there are also signs that first-time buyers are finding it tougher getting on the property ladder. Many low deposit mortgage deals disappeared from the housing market after the lockdown started as lenders became more concerned about “riskier” borrowing.

NAEA Propertymark said the proportion of sales made to first-time buyers stood at 23% in August, a fall from 25% in July.

Mark Hayward, chief executive, NAEA Propertymark said: “Last month, we witnessed a boom in the number of prospective buyers following the Government’s announcement of a stamp duty holiday, and it seems this is increasing the level of competition in the property market.

“With the increase in the number of prospective buyers since this announcement, many buyers are clearly willing to pay over the asking price in order to secure their dream home.”