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House prices reach record high

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A sharp increase in house prices has seen the market reach a record high, new data has shown.

Property portal Rightmove reported a 3 per cent increase in prices during June, the biggest it has ever recorded for the month.

It said some of the demand built up before the general election had been released and had left prices at an all-time high of £294,351.

The firm said the market had also seen an influx of new buyers but that supply had remained weak.

Across England and Wales, six out of the ten regions surveyed had set new price records in the month. While the market growth has moved beyond London and the surrounding regions, the full impact has yet to reach northern areas.

Both the East Midlands and West Midlands reached all-time price highs, but house prices in both Wales and North East England were down month-on-month and compared to last year.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analysis, said the north-south divide did not look like closing soon.

“Some buyers had been holding back in the weeks before the election, leading to some sellers suffering an unseasonal price standstill in the late spring. In particular, sentiment and prices got hit in the mooted mansion tax price brackets.

“Now the unexpected election outcome has caused a strong rebound, prompting an upturn in buyer demand and helping new seller asking prices to hit their highest ever levels.

“While much of the price momentum has emanated from the south where the supply/demand imbalance is more acute, the strength of demand for the right property is resulting in a record price wave rolling further north, with the midlands also at new highs.

“Sentiment and momentum seem to be flowing up the housing ladder too, as early year activity at the bottom and middle is now filtering through towards the top.”

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