Sellers seeking record prices for UK homes

Asking prices of homes put up for sale in the UK have hit a new high in April, according to an index compiled by the property website Rightmove.

Line of town houses in the UK
The nationwide average of new-to-the-market property has increased by a modest 0.4 per cent since mid-March, but by adding £1,228 to prices, it has brought the average to £305,732, which beats the previous record of £304,943 recorded in July last year.

UK housing prices continue to hit record levels

North West England has the strongest annual rate of price increase (4.3 per cent) and is one of six out of 11 regions to hit new records. The others are the East Midlands (4.2 per cent), Yorkshire & the Humber (2.7 per cent), South West (2.6 per cent), Wales (2.4 per cent) and the East of England (1.2 per cent).Typical first-time buyer properties with two bedrooms or fewer are up by 2.2 per cent average year-on-year. By contrast, detached properties with four bedrooms or more has an annual rate of increase of 0.9 per cent and average prices remain behind their £542,347 peak recorded last October. Asking prices for homes in London also continued to slip from last year’s high.
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Regional house prices

Miles Shipside, a Rightmove, director, said that March was the busiest seen by the website with would-be buyers making 142 million visits.He added, “Home buyers are seeing average asking prices at their highest ever level with upwards price pressure getting stronger the further away you move from London. However, higher prices stretch buyers’ willingness to pay or ability to afford them.“This month’s increase of 0.4 per cent is the lowest at this time of year since 2008, though the subdued figure could partly be a re-balancing from the seasonally large 1.5 per cent rise the previous month.“The earlier Easter Bank Holidays and heavy snow disrupting property marketing will also have an effect on like-for-like comparisons with last year.“In the more popular locations and for the property with the right specifications, buyer demand is helping to push prices higher. A lack of choice is nudging prices up to test the ceiling of what the market will pay.“It’s not rampant price inflation, and buyers can easily spot a speculative price and ignore a property that is out of line with others nearby, and is also likely to be out of kilter with their pocket.”Rightmove found that, on average, sellers were achieving 96.7 per cent of their asking price with the percentage gap between asking and selling prices rising from 2.8 to 3.3 per cent over the past two years.The Rightmove report quoted Mark Manning, director of Yorkshire estate agents Manning Stainton, as saying, “We have continued to see strong growth in the number of new first-time buyers with a 15 per cent increase compared to last year and not surprisingly further upward movement in our average house price with the biggest rises in the middle market and those looking for family homes near good schools which remain in short supply.”
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