Property Asking Prices at All Time High

Asking prices for property have hit an all-time high, with sellers seeking more for their homes than at the peak of the housing bubble prior to the credit crunch.

Information from the Rightmove House Price Index puts the current average asking price at  £243,737, a rise of 2.9 per cent in a single month and £1327 more than the previous peak of £242, 410 in May 2008.

The nationwide average is being badly skewed by the rampant price increases in London. Since 2008 prices in the city are 14.9 per cent up, compared to a drop 4.3 per cent in the rest country if the capital were excluded.

The only other region to have seen a rise in asking prices in the same time period is the South West, where prices are up by 2.3 per cent. Anglia and the South East are not far behind, both coming within a few thousand pounds of their previous 2008 peak.

Rightmove director Miles Shipley commented: “This is not a universal signal of a housing market recovery. The richest seams of activity are concentrated around those with access to cash and finance options. There is a strong bias towards London and the South in particular.”

The biggest falls in asking price are in Wales and the North of the country. Outside of London and the South property prices began to fall away in late 2007, as soon as Northern Rock’s collapse signalled the start of the credit crunch. Wales, Yorkshire, Humberside and the East Midlands have all dropped by more than ten per cent since hitting their peak in August 2007.

The actual number of properties on sale remains very low, across the country 30 per cent fewer properties were put on the market this month compared to April 2007, and half a per cent less than April 2011.

According to Rightmove these statistics show a risk that the nation will be split in terms of asking price trends, areas seeing the steepest increases are in turn able to access better mortgage deals, which could cause the gap to widen even further..

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