23 May

Property asking prices hit record levels in some UK regions

Seven UK regions have seen property asking prices reach their highest-ever level in the last 12 months, according to new data from Rightmove.

The estate agent listings site also said it had registered a record number of visitors to its site, but despite that, the number of sales agreed by estate agents in the first four months of 2018 is down by 5.4 percent on the same period last year.

The average asking price across the UK has hit its highest level at £308,075, with Greater London’s average asking price now standing at £637,746.

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Houses sell fastest in Scotland, slowest in London

Rightmove’s monthly house price index showed that the UK’s regions are showing some divergence in house sale performance. The regions where asking prices have risen annually are the north-east (up 0.4 percent); the north-west (up 3.9 percent); Yorkshire and the Humber (up 3.9 percent); West Midlands (up 4.3 percent); east Midlands (up 4.8 percent); east of England (up 1.7 percent); south-west (up 2.9 percent); Scotland (up 2 percent on the year); and Wales (up 4.3 percent).

In Greater London, asking prices were down 0.2 percent on the year, while in the south-east, they dropped by 0.1 percent.

Houses sell fastest in Scotland, at an average time of 44 days, followed by the West Midlands on 49 days and the east Midlands on 54. Property in Greater London takes much longer to shift, at an average 70 days.

Advice is to pitch prices at tempting level

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “After six years of continual year-on-year price growth, the current market is becoming increasingly price-sensitive, with new-to-the-market sellers being limited to an average asking price growth of just 1.1 percent over the last year.

“This is in spite of there being plenty of historically cheap mortgage products around for buyers who meet lenders’ criteria.

“Sellers need to pitch their price at a tempting level to entice buyers, as while there are signs of strong demand, there appears to be hesitation among some buyers to commit.

“The last time the south-east recorded an annual price fall was in 2011, indicating that the softening in the London market is now spreading to its commuter belt, while there are signs that inner London may be closer to a price recovery.

“While this gives buyers in the south-east the opportunity to negotiate prices down, in some of the more buoyant areas of the country, the options to do so are more limited by a shortage of suitable properties on the market.”