Asking prices keep rising

Rightmove's April house price index reported a 2.6% increase in asking values to £235,512, despite also revealing that supply is outstripping demand in some areas.

The healthy increase in asking prices contrasts sharply with the modest 0.1% rise the month before.

Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, said:

With weather disruptions out of the way, more sellers are coming to market and they appear to be ignoring the uncertainties facing potential buyers. Prices are up, but so is choice.

"This year, more than ever, the traditional Spring seller window is a price sensitive one, if asking prices continue to rise, all but the most popular locations are building themselves up for some of the gains to be lost later in the year.

Shipside did warn that the positivity surrounding the current property recovery could be tempered by a potential hung parliament at the polls and the subsequent ‘suspended animation’.

Rightmove’s findings came in the same week that the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) claimed homeowners were rushing to sell their homes before the political showdown on May 6 and the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) stated the number of people selling their homes in March rose to a six-month high.

Surveyors responding to the RICS survey recorded the highest reading of vendor activity since May 2007 and said new instructions outstripped enquiries from potential buyers for the third month in a row.

Ian Perry, RICS spokeperson, said:

With the General Election approaching and uncertainty growing over the political direction of the country, many vendors who were previously inclined to sit on the sidelines now appear eager to put their properties on the market. For the time being, many of the key housing market indicators are still positive or stable.

The NAEA revealed that the average number of properties for sale per estate agent branch increased from 56 in February to 60 in March, the highest figure since September last year.

The number of new house hunters also increased by 7%. Gary Smith, president of the NAEA, said:

Spring has finally arrived and brought with it a much needed boost to the housing market, particularly among sellers. This figure has been low in recent months and this is a welcome indication that reflects a growing confidence that the recovery is well underway.

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