Rightmove says the average asking price of a home coming to the market has reached an all-time high of £296,549 despite an unusually low increase this month.
The typical asking price has risen on 0.6 per cent - the equivalent of £1,715 - which is the lowest October increase since 2010 and contrasts with an average October rise of 1.8 per cent over the previous five years.
However, the portal says typical first time buyer properties have soared by 4.9 per cent in just one month. These two bedrooms or fewer properties are now at their highest price ever, an average of 9.6 per cent (or £16,105) more expensive than a year ago, far outstripping the overall annual rise of 5.6 per cent for all property types.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, says this is partly down to the fact that first time buyers and the continuing rash of buy to let purchasers are often after the same type of property.
”A near 10 per cent price surge in this category in the last year proves that despite tighter lending criteria in last year’s Mortgage Market Review, some first-time buyers can still afford the higher prices being asked for by sellers in this sector. It’s also symptomatic of a shortage of properties coming to market with two bedrooms or fewer, combined with demand from both first-time buyers and landlords investing in reaction to the huge rental demand for smaller properties” says Shipside.
To add to first timers’ challenges, Shipside says there are numerous reasons who sellers may prefer landlord buyers - and may be advised as such by selling agents.
“[Landlords’] funding is often a safer bet as they typically have larger deposits or cash, and it could be said that they are less likely than less experienced first time buyers to pull out before exchange as their business mind-set lessens the risk of an emotionally inspired U-turn that sometimes scuppers a sale” he says.