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Asking prices for property reach new high

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Written by: Shekina Tuahene
17/05/2021
The gap between asking prices for houses in London and the North of England has shrunk to its smallest margin since 2013 as growth in northern regions exceeded the capital, Rightmove’s house price index for May showed.

Properties in London are still 2.9 times more expensive than homes in the North, but a 0.2% annual increase in price to £640,373 in the capital saw the gap between other regions narrow. 

In comparison, prices in the North West rose 11.1% to £223,446, Yorkshire and Humber prices increased 10.5% to £216,614 and prices in the North East saw a 6.7% growth to £164,025.  

Rightmove said this was because the supply demand imbalance in these regions was more stark than London. 

Tim Bannister, director of property data at Rightmove, said compared to the same period in 2019 agents in the North East had 59% less available stock for sale in the second-stepper sector of three-bedroom homes, while Scotland was 65% in the four-bedroom or more sector at the top of the ladder.  

In contrast, he said London’s available stock was down 20% and 24% respectively in these sectors, suggesting that while supply was limited it was more closely matched to demand. 

Ged McPartlin, managing director of estate agent Ascend Properties, said: “The Northern Powerhouse continues to drive overall market performance with the North West and Yorkshire, in particular, steaming ahead with some of the highest increases in property values.  

“The property market balance has well and truly tipped in favour of the North in recent months, driven by the fact that northern regions continue to offer a far more affordable foot on the ladder for homebuyers.” 

New highs 

Overall, the average asking price of a house in the UK recorded a monthly rise of 1.8% to £333,564 in May, surpassing the previous month’s high by £5,767.

Across the UK, average stock per agent reached 56 properties in April, an improvement on March’s 55. 

The number of properties per agent has not broken 60 since December 2020, when there were 62 homes per agent. 

Meanwhile, the average time to secure a buyer dropped to 45 days in April, the shortest period since December 2019. Compared with March, this was six days shorter than the 51-day average. 

Properties in London are taking longer to sell, at an average of 57 days. This is speeding up however as it was shorter than the 64-day period it took to secure a buyer in the capital in March. 

John Eastgate, managing director of property finance at Shawbrook Bank, said: “By any measure, this is a hot market. Buyers struggle to maintain perspective as demand for property rockets and they sell in a heartbeat.   

“And whilst the activity levels that we’ve become accustomed to in the past year will ease, the market remains underpinned by very strong fundamentals that will maintain its resilience for the long term. There simply isn’t enough supply to meet the unwavering interest from prospective buyers.”  

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