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Average asking price nears all-time high

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The average asking price of a property coming to market has increased by 0.8 per cent or £2,589, according to the February Rightmove House Price Index.

The average asking price in the UK now stands at £309,399, just £40 short of the high seen in June 2018 where the average asking price reached £309,439.

Annually, this is a 2.9 per cent increase on asking prices in February last year.

The East Midlands was the only region to see a drop in average asking prices in February as it saw a 0.5 per cent decline to £299,099.

Yorkshire and Humber saw the largest increase in prices with a 3.5 per cent rise to £197,344, followed by Wales which saw a 3.4 per cent monthly increase to £199,621.

Buyers outstripping stock

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “There is a boom in buyer activity outstripping the rise in the number of new sellers, which we expect to lead to a series of new price records starting next month.

“Spring buyers are likely to be faced with the highest average asking prices ever seen in Britain. Buyers who had been hesitating and waiting for the greater political certainty following the election outcome may be paying a higher price, but they can now jump into the spring market with renewed confidence.”

Affordability concerns

Josef Wasinski, co-founder of gradual home ownership firm Wayhome, said: “These figures will do nothing to raise the spirits of the thousands of reluctant renters, who have no choice but to stay put. Sky-high deposits and significant upfront purchase costs are making homeownership unattainable for those stuck in the rent trap.”

Marc von Grundherr, director of estate agent Benham and Reeves, added: “Should this market momentum persist it won’t be long before record asking prices are hit and while this is a great indicator of returning market health, it won’t be welcomed by aspirational buyers who are already struggling with issues of affordability as it is.”


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