UK house prices hit record high
On a yearly basis, prices rose 1.7%, up from 1.1% the previous year, according to property website Rightmove.
On a monthly basis house prices advanced 0.4%, or £1,364, to reach £309,439.
However, market conditions vary significantly between the north and south.
Strong buyer activity in northern regions has shrunk available stock levels by an average of 4.3% when compared to a year ago. This has restricted buyer choice and given sellers upwards pricing power, Rightmove said.
The less active southern regions all have more available stock, up by an average of 17.5% compared to a year ago.
By region, Wales and Scotland have the greatest drop in available stock, with 10.3% and 10.4% fewer properties for sale compared to a year ago, respectively.
Yorkshire and the Humber has 6.3% less choice for prospective buyers than a year ago, with the North West seeing a drop of 4.1%.
The North East and the West Midlands have smaller decreases in available stock, with -2.3% and 2.2% respectively. The only northern region to see an increase is the East Midlands with a 4.0% uplift.
All southern regions have seen a stock increase compared to a year ago, indicating more challenging market conditions.
The East of England has 24.9% more properties up for sale, and the South East has 20.0%. London has a smaller increase of 16.4%. The South West completes the southern stock picture with an 8.2% increase in available stock.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “Sales agreed by estate agents overall in May have bounced back from a slower start to the year and while still slightly below May last year they are ahead of 2016. This is a pleasingly strong flourish at the end the spring selling season given the political uncertainty and stretched buyer affordability.
“The reduction in property choice for buyers in the north compared to a year ago is a result of property for sale being snapped up, meaning it’s more of a sellers’ market there. In marked contrast the jump in buyer choice in all southern regions shows there are signs of a sellers’ market in some areas.
“With the year at mid-point the 2018 summary so far is that the chances of sellers finding a buyer in the northern regions seem to have held up very well against the previous year, but market conditions are clearly more challenging for sellers in much of the south.”