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Rightmove says prices stay steady but London still in doldrums

Rightmove’s latest house price statistics reveal that asking prices for newly-marketed property are on average 0.9 per cent higher than a month ago. 

It says four out of 11 regions are, in its words, “bucking any Brexit blues” and have set new asking price records for newly-marketed property; however, it also reports that in London no fewer than 30 of the 32 boroughs have average asking prices lower today than a year ago.

The portal says the overall asking price rise across England and Wales is down to the higher buyer demand expected at this time of year. 

“What is surprising against the backdrop of Brexit uncertainty is that four out of 11 regions are showing few signs of any Brexit blues and have set new record highs for average asking prices” says the portal’s statement, naming the West and East Midlands, Wales and the North West of England as the four that bucked the trend: the average asking price in Wales has broken through the £200,000 barrier for the first time.

“Price increases are the norm at this time of year, with only one fall in the last 10 years as new-to-the-market sellers’ price aspirations are under-pinned by the higher buyer demand that is a feature of the spring market” says Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst.

While the national rate of increase is virtually flat at +0.1 per cent compared to a year ago, these regions have considerably higher prices than at this time last year, with Wales breaking through the £200,000 barrier for the first time.

By contrast, London and its commuter belt - that is, the South East and East of England regions as well as the capital - have seen year-on-year falls.

”Activity breeds activity and a greater choice of fresh properties in these record-setting regions helps to spur buyers into action, especially if they have a property to sell. This in turn adds another new listing that might then tempt another buyer, in a virtuous circle” says Shipside. 

As for London, annual asking price falls range from just 0.2 per cent in Hammersmith & Fulham to 6.3 per cent in Westminster - and that’s not taking account of inflation which means, in real terms, prices have fallen further. 

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