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New sellers have helped push up property prices in the UK, with the average asking price seeing a rise of 3.3% or £8,103 last month, according to the latest data from Rightmove. The average property coming to the market is now priced at £251,964, some 6.9% or £16,223 more than a year ago which is the highest annual rate for over six years. The real estate website also reports that new listing numbers jumped by 18% compared to a year ago, but the supply shortage continues as they fail to keep pace with numbers coming off the market. It says that buyers with a property ‘yet to sell’ are the losers as the market heats up, with agents reporting buyers able to proceed with speed are winning the property battle. Also market momentum continues to build with all of Rightmove’s 10 busiest ever days being in January this year, breaking 50 million pages in a day for the first time. ‘The market rebound continues. While February is historically a positive month for prices of property coming to market, this is the second highest February rise since our index began in September 2001,’ said Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst. ‘New sellers are now asking over £16,000 more than those who came to market a year ago, a rate of increase not seen since before the credit crunch took hold in 2008. Those contemplating trading up, down or out may well be encouraged to come to market as they see their equity grow as prices rise,’ he pointed out. The data also shows weekly new listings averaged 27,768 over the last four weeks compared to 23,607 over the same period a year ago, an increase of 18%. While the sizeable year on year uplift is partly explained by a sprinkling of snow around this time last winter, this is the highest weekly run rate at this time of year since 2008. New supply is scarcest in the south where increased demand is greatest. London at 15%, the South East at 13% and the South West at 10% are all below the national average of 18%. Furthermore, even this significant boost in property coming to market is exceeded by the number of properties coming off the market, suggesting that the extra supply is being soaked up by buyer demand, an early indicator that transaction volumes will be considerably higher in 2014 than 2013. As a result there was a slight fall in the average available stock per estate agency branch, from 58 properties to 57. If increased listing levels are maintained, the firm points out, and they start to outstrip buyer demand, upwards price pressure will ease. It will take more than one month of improvements in new listing numbers to bring the market back into balance however, indeed some local market hotspots have not seen any uplift at all. ‘The housing market can only help to support a wider economic recovery if there is… Continue reading →
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