Average new asking prices in UK up 1% in March

Taylor Scott International News

The average price of property coming onto the market in the UK increased by 1% or £2,748 this month compared with February but it is a more muted rise than normal, the latest index shows. However, the rise means that the average new seller asking price is just £30 below the June 2014, according to the index from Rightmove. According to Rightmove the upcoming general election could be to blame for the lower than expected rise which was down from 2.1% growth in February. It says that agents are reporting an increase from buy to let investors and this may be due to the forthcoming changes to pensions which means they can cash in their pension pots and there is a lot of interest in using this to buy property. The data also shows that the year on year rate of increase has fallen from 6.6% in February to 5.4% in March and the report points out that high demand and larger buyer deposits are reducing the impact of the new restrictions on mortgage lending introduced in the Mortgage Market Review last year. ‘The distraction and uncertainty of an election typically force sellers to price more keenly, though this is often short-lived. The MMR introduced in April 2014 laid out a much needed longer term framework for responsible lending, but within a year its dampening effects have been muted by high demand outstripping supply in many locations, and by buyers putting down larger deposits,’ said Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst . ‘The price of property coming to market is now just £30 off the record set nine months ago. The MMR has been a positive restraint on what buyers can afford to pay and has assisted in lessening the price rise pace. However, with new build levels remaining low and only a small increase in properties coming to market compared to last month, the supply side is still a critical but missing part of the jigsaw if pent-up demand is to be satisfied,’ he explained. The index report also shows that interest in searching is at an all-time high, with a record eight million enquiries sent to Rightmove agents in the first two months of 2015, and Rightmove’s busiest ever day for activity being recorded towards the end of February. ‘There is still high demand for the right property at the right price with agents reporting that quality stock is selling well despite some election jitters. Rightmove recording nearly 59 million page views in one day suggests that home movers have a confident outlook, while remaining choosy about what they will buy. Attractive long fixed term mortgage rates are obviously another great boost to positive sentiment,’ Shipside said. ‘While some of the heat has been taken out of the market by limiting loan criteria and size through the MMR and the subsequent actions of the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority, controls limiting buyer affordability appear not to be restraining… Continue reading →

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