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Property Prices reach record highs

Asking prices jumped by an average £4,500 in March, says Rightmove. Analysts highlight increased demand and lack of supply.


Property asking prices reached all-time highs in parts of Britain this month due to strong demand from home movers, latest figures show.

The price rise was ramped up by a dip in supply with fewer properties coming to the market compared to the same period a year ago.

The average price of a newly-marketed home increased by 1.5 per cent (£4,503) this month to £304,504, according to the latest house price index from Rightmove. This is the biggest bounce in March since 2007 with new records in four out of 11 regions: East and West Midlands, Wales and the North West.

The average price tag of a first-time and second-time buyer home also hit record highs of an average £189,840 and £272,031, says the largest monthly sample of property prices.

Property market analysts say buyers are springing into action to beat further interest rate rises or benefit from recently-introduced stamp duty savings for first-time buyers.

Mark Shipside, Rightmove housing market analyst, warned it could be tough for potential buyers. 

Many buyers entering the traditionally busy spring market this year face paying more than ever for their targeted property and having a more limited choice

Mark Shipside, Rightmve
Property prices reach record high
Property prices reach record high

The increase comes after a subdued start to the year. House prices fell by 0.3 per cent in January and February, the first decrease since last August and the biggest since April 2017, according to Nationwide figures.

Mr Shipside said it was too soon to tell if the March figure was a “catch-up anomaly” after the previous two months or “early sign of price pressure building up a real head of steam as we enter the spring market.”

He added while there is “potential price headroom” in parts of the country, such as the northern regions, sellers need to be aware the more they increase prices, the more buyers will hit their ceiling of they can afford.

Rightmove recorded a five per cent decrease in the number of homes coming onto the market, a finding shared by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) which said average stocks on estate agent books hit new lows in February.

During the first quarter of the year the prices of homes coming onto the market increased by 3 per cent compared with 1.9 per cent during the same period last year.

Brian Murphy, head of lending for the Mortgage Advice Bureau, said Rightmove provided an in-depth view of asking prices and consumer activity rather than completed transactions.

He warned: “Although sellers may realise their asking prices at offer stage, if we are seeing prices accelerating at these levels, one would suggest that caution may need to be applied to avoid an overheated market which then results in inevitable surveyor down-valuations.”

David Lewis, associate partner of Stags Estate Agents, agreed just because sellers ask higher prices for their properties, doesn’t necessarily mean they will achieve them.

Realistic pricing is still critical to the success of any marketing campaign. Overvaluation and the public’s desire to maximise the value of their home is never going to go away

David Lewis, Stags Estate Agent