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Commentary: New Rightmove data suggests market is staying busy... But backlogs continue to build

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We all know the analogy about ducks: Floating effortlessly on top of the water, while their legs kick furiously below the surface. Well, Rightmove's latest data suggests the UK property market is a little like that right now - but in reverse.

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Market is staying busy - but backlogs are building

We all know the analogy about ducks: Floating effortlessly on top of the water while their legs kick furiously below the surface.

Well, Rightmove's latest data suggests the UK property market is a little like that right now - but in reverse: There's loads of activity out on show, but much less beneath the surface.

Lots of sales being agreed; fewer actually completing

Rightmove have just reported in their index this month that demand is outstripping supply more now in the UK housing market than it ever has before. That's quite a milestone.

But what does that really mean for house prices, or the health of the market in general? 

Well, while sellers may be hiking their asking prices and accepting offers at an alarming speed, the decision to extend the stamp duty holiday is only adding to the long delays being seen at the back end of the transaction process. Many sales are still seeing little to no movement being made for weeks or even months on end. (And many more sellers than usual are reaching out to us in an effort to sell their house fast).

Stamp Duty "cliff edge" still there

A great deal of this demand has been created by the Government's "Stamp Duty Saving".

Much had been made of the deadline for end of the Stamp Duty Saving, which was due at the end of this month and was creating a bit of a "cliff edge" - a date where hundreds of thousands of sales could potentially have fallen through. However, the Budget saw this pushed back to June and September (depending on the value of the property).

But the extension is just kicking the can down the road... This huge amount of market activity means those cliff edges are still growing bigger by the day... So hopefully those trying to transact have a plan-b in place in case their miss their deadlines.

"

Market is staying busy - but backlogs are building

We all know the analogy about ducks: Floating effortlessly on top of the water while their legs kick furiously below the surface.

Well, Rightmove's latest data suggests the UK property market is a little like that right now - but in reverse: There's loads of activity out on show, but much less beneath the surface.

Lots of sales being agreed; fewer actually completing

Rightmove have just reported in their index this month that demand is outstripping supply more now in the UK housing market than it ever has before. That's quite a milestone.

But what does that really mean for house prices, or the health of the market in general? 

Well, while sellers may be hiking their asking prices and accepting offers at an alarming speed, the decision to extend the stamp duty holiday is only adding to the long delays being seen at the back end of the transaction process. Many sales are still seeing little to no movement being made for weeks or even months on end. (And many more sellers than usual are reaching out to us in an effort to sell their house fast).

Stamp Duty "cliff edge" still there

A great deal of this demand has been created by the Government's "Stamp Duty Saving".

Much had been made of the deadline for end of the Stamp Duty Saving, which was due at the end of this month and was creating a bit of a "cliff edge" - a date where hundreds of thousands of sales could potentially have fallen through. However, the Budget saw this pushed back to June and September (depending on the value of the property).

But the extension is just kicking the can down the road... This huge amount of market activity means those cliff edges are still growing bigger by the day... So hopefully those trying to transact have a plan-b in place in case their miss their deadlines.

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