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Almost four in ten homes sell for asking price or MORE

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The number of homes selling for asking price or above is increasing as buyers chase down homes in a buoyant property market, new figures have revealed.

The percentage has been rising since the housing market reopened last year – in May in England, and in June in Wales – and has now reached a record high

At the most recent point asking and selling prices could be compared, in January this year, almost four in ten homes sold in England and Wales – at 37 per cent – achieved their final asking price or above, according to Rightmove.

With annual house price inflation accelerating since then – to 10.9 per cent in May, according to Nationwide Building Society – the proportion of asking price or higher deals may have grown further.

In January this year, more than a third of homes in England and Wales - at 37 per cent - achieved their final asking price or above, according to Rightmove

In January this year, more than a third of homes in England and Wales – at 37 per cent – achieved their final asking price or above, according to Rightmove

The property website based its research on its own asking prices and sold price data from the Land Registry.

The latest figure is an increase from 28 per cent in January 2020, and significantly higher than the long-term average of 23 per cent between 2005 and 2021.

The last record was set back in May 2016, when 36 per cent of homes sold for the asking price or above.

The region with the greatest number of asking price or more sales was Yorkshire and the Humber where 45 per cent of sellers saw their home selling for at least the listed price tag.

London saw the smallest proportion of homes reach at least the asking price, but even in the capital the figure was 30 per cent. 

The long-term average of homes achieving the asking price or above between 2005 and 2021 is 23 per cent

The long-term average of homes achieving the asking price or above between 2005 and 2021 is 23 per cent

Among the properties that reached asking price across England and Wales in January, 18 per cent sold for more than the listed price, which is the same as the previous high of 18 per cent in May 2016. 

Meanwhile, 19 per cent sold for exactly the asking price.

The long-term average between 2005 and 2021 for the proportion of homes selling for over the asking price is 10 per cent.

PERCENTAGE OF HOMES SOLD  FOR ASKING PRICE – AND AVE PRICE ACHIEVED
% of homes selling for asking price or above Ave % of final asking price achieved
Yorkshire and The Humber 45% 98.50%
North West 41% 98.20%
East Midlands 40% 98.40%
North East 39% 98.10%
West Midlands 39% 98.30%
East of England 37% 98.40%
South West 35% 98.10%
South East 34% 98.00%
Wales 32% 97.40%
London 30% 97.40%
England & Wales 37% 98.10%
Source: Rightmove & Land Registry based on January 2021 data.  

Rightmove’s Data Tim Bannister said: ‘This unique study quantifies the buyer bidding wars that agents have been reporting since the markets reopened last year, and is further evidence of the unprecedented market that emerged from the various lockdowns with many people deciding they wanted or needed to move as their requirements on space and surroundings changed.

‘I would, however, caution against sellers being tempted to ask their agent to put their property on for a price that’s much higher than market value.

‘Although many agents are seeing buyers scrambling to put in offers, if your property is priced too high at the beginning it will stick out like a sore thumb as buyers will compare the asking prices of similar properties in the same area.

‘You need to first get people through the door, even for desirable properties in the hotter areas. 

‘My advice would be to listen to your agent’s expert opinion, and be mindful that the market is now showing early signs of cooling.’

What final offer should you make? 

What should you offer if you’re faced with a bidding war on a property for sale that you want to buy and are invited to make your best and final offer?

We spoke to two experts about how to approach reaching the final amount you bid – one an estate agent selling homes and the other a buying agent, who acts for purchasers.

Vendors who receive multiple offers at final stage may choose the buyer who they would most like to see living in their home 

Robert McLaughlin, of estate agents KFH, said: ‘The buyer should first ask their agent for advice to get an idea on what the seller might accept as a final offer. 

‘Buyers should be prepared to offer the maximum price they are willing to pay. 

‘In the current market, buyers who attempt to offer an amount lower than the asking price may not endear themselves to the vendor. Buyers should ensure that they are flexible on their time frames, build a good rapport with the vendor and reiterate their position and the steps they have taken in writing. 

‘Vendors who receive multiple offers at final stage may choose the buyer who they would most like to see living in their home.’ 

Buying agent Henry Pryor said: ‘Work out what the property is worth to you, add £100 and that’s what you should bid. 

 The best you can do is to offer what the property is worth to you, and to stress your position – and pray

‘Don’t worry whether it is above or below the asking price. A property is worth what you will pay for it, the seller gets to decide if it’s enough.

‘If someone pays more then they either liked it more than you or had deeper pockets. 

‘I’ve done 24 ‘best and final offers’ this year, and been successful at 15. It’s a lousy way to buy a house and the best you can do is to offer what the property is worth to you, and to stress your position – such as having your finances and solicitors in place solicitor – and pray.’

 

 

The research matched individual Rightmove listings to Land Registry transactions and analysed the difference between the final asking price on Rightmove with the eventual sold price.

Data runs from January 2005 to January 2021, which is the latest month with sufficient sold price data available from Land Registry.

There is currently data available for an estimated 75 per cent of homes that completed in January, compared to an estimated 4 per cent available so far for homes that completed in April, with no data available yet for May completions.

The property website based its research on its own asking prices and sold price data from the Land Registry

The property website based its research on its own asking prices and sold price data from the Land Registry

Bruce King, of estate agents Cheffins in Cambridge, said: ‘As the winter of 2020 saw one of the busiest periods in the property market to date, the number of completions of properties in January were also much higher than usual, with the majority of houses being sold at over the asking price.

‘The last quarter of 2020 saw almost double the number of property sales agreed in comparison to 2019, as a number of factors impacted the housing market.

‘The coronavirus pandemic continued to put massive pressure on property sales outside of London and as buyers moved out to the regions in their droves, we saw a frenzied market with properties coming to the market selling within only a matter of days, with competitive bidding situations fast becoming the new normal.

‘The festive period presented itself with a lack of Christmas parties or holidays and so people were less distracted through the back end of last year and more willing to consider a January completion date.

‘For many they wanted to start the New Year with a new start, in a new property, and were willing to pay over the asking price to make that happen. This market behaviour we saw is an unusual phenomenon however, and it’s likely that the market will start to settle once the world slowly begins to open up again.

‘I’m doubtful we will see that level of ferocity in the market again this year. What has also certainly been the case over the past 18 months or so is that people have reignited their love for the house they live in. Home is now much higher on their priority list, rather than eating out, holidays or cars.’

And Marc von Grundherr, of estate agents Benham & Reeves in London, said: ‘It’s little wonder really that such a large proportion of home sales are at asking price or above given that the stamp duty holiday and pent up demand has led to a 50 per cent hike in buyer demand and therefore transactions.’

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Social Democrats activists consider deferring request on leadership contest

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A group of Social Democrats activists who want to see a leadership election in the party is looking at deferring their request to consider such a contest until after a new general secretary is appointed to the party.

A draft letter to the party’s national executive, signed by two councillors and 14 others, seeking the leadership contest emerged on Friday evening.

The letter, which has not been sent to party authorities, requested the national executive meet to hold a vote to call a leadership election.

It pays tribute to the party’s current co-leaders Catherine Murphy and Róisín Shortall, who it states “have done exceptional work”, but adds that “it is now time to move to the next stage”.

The party released a statement later the same evening saying its TDs are “united behind co-leaders Catherine Murphy and Róisín Shortall”. This statement was shared on Twitter by all six of the party’s Dáil Deputies.

One of the councillors who signed the draft letter, Kildare representative Chris Pender, responded with his own social media post saying: “Anyone who’s read the letter will know it states we don’t have an issue with the leaders, but we believe in the democratic right to vote for that/those leaders.

“A leadership contest would give members the opportunity to show support for the current leaders, if that’s what they want.”

Cllr Cat O’Driscoll, who sits on Dublin City Council, was the other public representative who signed the draft letter.

Motivations

Sources insisted the motivations behind seeking a contest include giving the Social Democrats’ membership a say in who leads the party, as well as an issue of timing. They say with no general election expected imminently, it would give the next leader time to prepare.

It was also revealed on Friday that Brian Sheehan, a former director of the Yes Equality campaign, is to step down from his role as Social Democrats general secretary in early September. The decision is not connected with the call for a leadership election and those behind the draft letter were unaware of Mr Sheehan’s decision to leave the job.

However, it has prompted a rethink of the request for a leadership contest.

The Irish Times understands the activists are considering a new version of the letter that takes Mr Sheehan’s departure into account and would not seek a discussion about a leadership contest until after his successor is in place and has had some time in the job. A source suggested the approach with any new letter would be “a bit more cautious”.

On Monday, a party spokeswoman ruled out any contest for the leadership, either before or after the appointment of a new general secretary.

“The rules of the party state any leader must be a TD and all of our TDs are united in their support for the party leadership. The general secretary position is entirely unrelated to the party leadership,” she said.

Ms Murphy and Ms Shortall have jointly led the Social Democrats since its establishment in 2015.


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Instagrammer captures abandoned Welsh property in series of eerie photographs

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Who would live in a house like this? Instagrammer photographs abandoned Welsh property – complete with a bottle of Champagne for ‘Grandad’s’ 90th birthday, dishes still in the sink and a newspaper dating back to 1956

  • Photographs reveal the rooms have been untouched for decades and house opened bottle of Champagne  
  • Discovery was made by Instagrammer Kyle Urbex while exploring the countryside in Flintshire, North Wales 
  • Kyle said: ‘Overall the whole exploration just left me wondering the whole backstory’ 
  • ***Do YOU know who lived in the abandoned house? Contact izzy.nikolic@mailonline.co.uk*** 

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An abandoned Welsh house has been captured in a series of eerie photographs complete with a bottle of Champagne for ‘Grandad’s’ 90th birthday and dishes still in the sink.  

Photographs reveal rooms that have been untouched for decades and reveal a bottle of bubbly with a sticker which reads: ‘Happy 90th Birthday. Sorry I can’t be there to drink this with you! Lots of love James xxx.’  

The property has been dubbed ‘Granddad’s abandoned house’ after it was discovered tucked away in the woods. 

A piano can also be seen with sheet music still in place along with clothes hanging up and dishes still in the sink.

Photographs reveal rooms that have been untouched for decades and reveal a bottle of bubbly with a sticker which reads: 'Happy 90th Birthday. Sorry I can't be there to drink this with you! Lots of love James xxx'

Pictured: A piano can also be seen with sheet music still in place along with clothes hanging up

Photographs reveal rooms that have been untouched for decades and reveal a bottle of bubbly with a sticker which reads: ‘Happy 90th Birthday. Sorry I can’t be there to drink this with you! Lots of love James xxx’

The property has been dubbed 'Granddad's abandoned house' after it was discovered tucked away in the woods. Pictured: The exterior of the property

The property has been dubbed ‘Granddad’s abandoned house’ after it was discovered tucked away in the woods. Pictured: The exterior of the property 

Random debris including a broken bicycle, piping, empty tins and folding tables and chairs were left strewn throughout the house

The discovery was made by Instagrammer Kyle Urbex (pictured) while he was exploring the countryside in Flintshire, North Wales

Random debris including a broken bicycle, piping, empty tins and folding tables and chairs were left strewn throughout the house

Mr Urbex said: 'I visited the property just over four weeks ago and getting to the actual location wasn't too bad, just a walk up a small hill and the door was wide open'

Mr Urbex said: ‘I visited the property just over four weeks ago and getting to the actual location wasn’t too bad, just a walk up a small hill and the door was wide open’

The discovery was made by Instagrammer Kyle Urbex while he was exploring the countryside in Flintshire, North Wales.

Kyle also spotted a newspaper dating back to 1956 in what he believes was once someone’s ‘dream family home.’

He said: ‘I visited the property just over four weeks ago and getting to the actual location wasn’t too bad, just a walk up a small hill and the door was wide open.

‘Once inside I instantly saw the whole location was eerie because it was a house full to the brim of memories, ranging from clothes in the bedroom to old decaying pianos which once may have entertained many.

‘The porch area had been trashed, however the seating still remained intact and of course the champagne bottle for his 90th birthday still left on the fireplace.

He added: 'Once inside I instantly saw the whole location was eerie because it was a house full to the brim of memories, ranging from clothes in the bedroom to old decaying pianos which once may have entertained many'

Dishes are left undone in the sink in the kitchen

He added: ‘Once inside I instantly saw the whole location was eerie because it was a house full to the brim of memories, ranging from clothes in the bedroom to old decaying pianos which once may have entertained many’

Kyle says he has now been left wondering about the story behind the house. He added: ‘While the place appears to have been ransacked by vandals, clothes still hang in wardrobes; one of the few signs of the home it once was’

Kyle also spotted a newspaper dating back to 1956 in what he believes was once someone's 'dream family home'

Kyle also spotted a newspaper dating back to 1956 in what he believes was once someone’s ‘dream family home’

Mr Urbex added: 'Overall the whole exploration just left me wondering the whole backstory and how somebody could just leave so much memories and cherished possessions behind'

Mr Urbex added: ‘Overall the whole exploration just left me wondering the whole backstory and how somebody could just leave so much memories and cherished possessions behind’

‘I found it quite sad really given all the memories just left to be forgotten about. As well as the house there was a caravan hidden at the back in all the overgrowth which had more memories inside, old books and so on.

‘I managed to uncover an old bike in the shed which looked like it had been there quite a while.

‘Alongside all of these findings I came across a newspaper dated from November 3 1956.’

Kyle says he has now been left wondering about the story behind the house.

He added: ‘While the place appears to have been ransacked by vandals, clothes still hang in wardrobes; one of the few signs of the home it once was.

‘Overall the whole exploration just left me wondering the whole backstory and how somebody could just leave so much memories and cherished possessions behind.’

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Foley to bring school reopening plan to Cabinet on Tuesday

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Minister for Education Norma Foley says she has every confidence schools will reopen fully from late August and early September.

Ms Foley said there was ongoing engagement between her department and public health officials on the matter but all schools were set to reopen.

Strong mitigation measures would be in place in schools to ensure that they would continue to be controlled environments, she told RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show on Monday.

Covid-19 infection rates among children were at their highest when children were not at school and public health experts had pointed out “on a consistent basis to schools being a very significantly controlled environment”.

The safe operation of the Leaving Certificate exams and enhanced summer camps indicated that the safe operation of education could be maintained, she said.

A plan would be put in place to allow schools to “draw down” CO2 monitors and the Minister said she was confident there would be enough monitors for all schools by the start of the new school year.

In relation to Covid-19 vaccines for children, Ms Foley said the “expertise” lay with the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) from which her department would take guidance.

“I have received confirmation that the 16 to 18-year-old cohort should be in a position for online registration in the coming days, and I have been advised that the 15-year-olds cohort are still being considered by NIAC and there has been no definitive timeline given,” she added.

Ms Foley will bring a plan to Cabinet on Tuesday outlining enhanced public information campaigns, the outcome of antigen testing pilots, and the purchase of C02 monitors to assist in ventilating classrooms.

Capacity limits on school transport services will also remain in place.

Government sources were adamant on Sunday that second-level education would resume in the autumn, despite concerns among public-health officials that the wave could grow following the reopening of indoor dining today, before peaking in September.

“Schools will reopen,” a senior Coalition source said.

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