Houses are now selling as fast as they were pre-crash in 2007 in some areas according to Home.co.uk’s asking price index.
In the east and south east of England, typical properties are now on the market for just 49 and 47 days respectively. The time on the market in the East of England has plummeted particularly quickly, with that time down 41% on five years ago.
Across England and Wales the median time on the market for a house is now 102 days, 17 days fewer than a year ago, with the mean number of days on the market now at 177.
The number of houses for sale has also fallen, with supply down 4% on 12 months ago. The picture is particularly bad in the West Midlands where the annual change in supply is as high as 12%.
The average asking price across England and Wales, according to Home.co.uk, is now £292,511, up 0.9% on last month and 7.9% on twelve months ago.
Doug Shephard, Director at Home.co.uk, said: “The Buy-to-Let stampede is underway, doubling the effect of the expected spring surge in property sales. This investment frenzy is providing fierce competition for first- and next-time buyers who are probably best advised to stay out of the fray until the dust settles.
“This rush to purchase has provided a fillip for the slowing London market, especially in the cheaper outlying areas. Meanwhile, property is still filling up estate agents’ books in Belgravia (44% more stock for sale than in Mar 2015) and other parts of prime central London where oversupply has led to price stagnation. As predicted, the East of England is now the UK’s leading price growth region due to extraordinary demand and lack of supply.
“We expect that prices there will reach their affordability limits later this year and a similar market dynamic will take hold in the West Midlands, the South West and the East Midlands towards the end of the year, together with significant price growth in 2017. The changes in stamp duty for Buy-to-Let investors has meant that the property market has had the equivalent of an adrenaline burst to kick-start what was already going to be an excellent year for house prices. Following this aberrant phase we may find that prices pause for breath, but the underlying fundamentals of cheap borrowing and tight supply will remain overall.”