Property prices hit record high

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Home asking prices hit a record high of more than £313,000 on average in April

The figures released by property website Rightmove, show the price of property hitting the market is up 1.1% on March’s figures, equivalent to £3,547. The new national average of £313,655 for England and Wales exceeds the previous high of £310,471 set in June 2016.

According to Rightmove this increase has been driven by strong buyer demand with the market seeing the highest number of sales agreed at this time of year since 2007, pre-credit crunch.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst said: “High buyer demand in most parts of the country has helped to propel the price of newly marketed property to record highs. There are signs of a strong spring market with the number of sales agreed achieved at this time of year being the highest since 2007.

“It remains to be seen what effect the run-up to the snap election will have, though any slowdown in activity will be counter-balanced by the market’s current fast pace.”

For the first-time buyer sector including homes with two bedrooms or fewer, Rightmove reports record prices and a 6.5% annual rate of increase on buyer activity. However, the overall increase is tempered by a slower rate of increase in the rest of the market with the overall rate of increase at 2.2% which is the lowest recorded since April 2013.

Regionally, only Greater London saw a decrease in monthly prices on the previous month and year with prices down 2% month-on-month and 1.5% year-on-year. Wales, on the other hand saw the greatest increase on the previous month, with a whopping rise of 7.6% while the East of England had the largest increase year-on-year at 5.3%.

Mr Shipside added: “Strong buyer activity this month has led to 10% higher numbers of sales agreed than in the same period in 2016. This large year-on-year disparity should be viewed cautiously as the comparable time span in 2016 saw a drop in buy-to-let activity with the additional second home stamp duty.

“However, they are also up by 3.8% when compared to 2015. With the growth in household numbers and new-build supply struggling to keep pace, demand is strong and has led to the highest sales agreed numbers at this time of year since the heady pre-credit-crunch levels.”

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