UK house prices rose 1.3 percent in March, with the average price of a home in England and Wales passing £300,000 for the first time, according to property website Rightmove.
The average asking price for a home rose 7.6 percent compared to last year, despite prices in London at somewhat of a standstill. Increasing prices and stretched affordability has spread across the north and west, with six out of ten regions achieving record asking price highs.
Rightmove revealed that the average asking price in England and Wales has increased to £303,190 – up 50 percent in a decade.
Demand for homes has increased over the past few months as consumers take advantage of the market before a hike in a property tax due to take effect on April 1.
Rightmove said there’s been a “surge” in the number of houses coming to market as well as “diminished appetite among buyers to pay higher prices.”
Kevin Shaw, national sales director at lettings agents Leaders, was quoted by Reuters as saying:
“We’ve seen a definite surge in house prices at the start of 2016 which…has been exacerbated by investors and second-home buyers rushing to complete their property purchases before the additional 3 per cent stamp duty charge takes effect,”
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst comments:
“While the start of 2016 has seen an encouraging but modest uptick in the number of properties coming to market, demand and momentum have combined to push prices over £300,000. On average 30,000 properties have come to market each week over the past month, up by 3% on this time last year, but there are insufficient numbers of newly-listed properties in many parts of the country to meet demand.
“Visits to the Rightmove website are up by 14% in early March compared to the same period in 2015, so it’s no surprise that those buyers who can borrow more or can find some extra cash are keeping the price merry-go-round spinning, even though increasing numbers of aspiring home-movers cannot afford the ride.”
“Three out of the top four risers this month are northern regions, with the West Midlands, the North West, and Yorkshire and the Humber being tucked in the slip-stream of the South West and ahead of all the other southern regions. London is a shadow of the former price-rise power-house that has driven up national averages over the last five years, and is now a myriad of different local markets with some boroughs dramatically up or down, but overall cancelling each other out.”