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Asking prices hit their highest ever, says Rightmove

Asking prices hit their highest ever, says Rightmove

Asking prices across England and Wales have breached the £250,000 mark for the first time, Rightmove reported this morning.

The average asking price of a property brought to the market between May 12 and June 8 was £252,798 – up 2.7% from a year ago and 1.2% from the month before. It was the sixth consecutive monthly rise.

Rightmove also reported that asking prices in every single region have gone up in the first six months of this year, with prices in the South-East racing away at a climb of 14.8%. In the South-East, the average asking price of a property new to the market is a record £329,968.

In London, asking prices have gone up 10.9%, and in the North by 9.2%. The area where asking prices have gone up least is the East Midlands, but even here they have risen 5.8% so far this year.

Rightmove said this represented the possibility of a broader housing market recovery.

Miles Shipside, director at Rightmove, said: “While this month sees several new price records, it’s the South-East that has really started to lift off.

“On top of that, the first half of 2013 saw little sign of the traditional North-South divide, with the first-half asking price surge in the North almost equal to that of the South. The good news is that this indicates a wider upturn, albeit at historically low but increasing volumes.

“The bad news for would-be buyers is that it has helped propel the average price of a property coming to market through the quarter of a million quid milestone for the first time.

“It is worth remembering that while the asking price and the eventual sale price may differ by a small margin, the asking price is a very strong indicator of perceived market value and direction.

“It will take account of local supply and demand, as well as wider economic forces such as interest rates and consumer confidence.”

Rightmove said several factors have contributed to a strong first half of 2013, including a growth in consumer confidence and increasing competition among lenders.

The portal also suggested that buyers are expecting prices to rise further once Help to Buy kicks in next January with its 95% taxpayer-backed mortgage scheme.

Shipside said: “Agents report that some buyers are pre-empting any potential scheme-induced price rises by doing a deal now.”

Rightmove’s survey was based on analysing 115,883 asking prices.