Here’s what you need to know

So, to help you get a head-start on what to expect, here’s how the new year housing market is shaping up so far.

Signs of a ‘closer to normal’ market in 2022

The kind of frenzied market we’ve seen in the last 18 months happens only a few times in most home-owners’ buying and selling lifetimes, says our property expert Tim Bannister. This has been made even more intense alongside the even rarer event of a global pandemic, which has pushed homes higher up most people’s priorities.

But as 2021 draws to a close, we expect to see a ‘closer to normal’ housing market in 2022 — albeit still a busy one. Property valuation requests from home-owners have increased, which is a great sign there will be more homes available to buy.

And while Covid continues to have an ever-changing impact, we’re starting to see signs of a return to traditional norms, including seasonal fluctuations in house prices. We’re used to seeing a dip in asking prices in December, as home-hunters put moving plans off until after the Christmas festivities. And this month, the national average asking price of a home is £340,167, which is down 0.7% (-£2,234) on the month, compared to a relatively similar fall this time a year ago.

2022 will remain a strong sellers’ market

If you do decide to sell your home in the new year, your chances of a finding a buyer are very high, as we’re still seeing huge levels of buyer demand, and not enough homes available to buy.

Despite this month’s seasonal price fall, we expect asking prices to rise by another 5% in 2022. However, it’s really important to set the right asking price. Despite high demand, buyers will have limits to what they can afford or are prepared to pay. Good local estate agents can help, as they can share their evidence for setting and justifying the right asking price.

More properties for buyers to choose from

If you’ve already started the search for your next home, you’ll know how few properties there are currently for sale, which means you’ll be facing stiff competition from other buyers.

The good news is there should be some fresh property choice coming to market in 2022, as ‘new year resolution sellers’ look to take advantage of the traditional Boxing Day bounce in buyer demand.

In fact, we’ve seen property valuation requests on Rightmove jump by 19% compared to this time a year ago, which is a strong sign that previously hesitant sellers are now looking to make a move.

The continued importance of being a ‘power-buyer’

To be in pole-position in the race for the best property, you need to have greater buying power than the rest of the field.

So if you’re a seller looking to buy again, the best way to get yourself into pole position to secure your next home is to secure a buyer for your property first. Proving your access to funds, including a mortgage agreement in principle, is also becoming a must-have, not only to get higher up the buyer pecking order, but also to speed up the process.