New records have been set in sellers’ asking prices, Rightmove said this morning.
The average asking price of a property new on the market is touching £250,000 for the first time, while in London it has soared past the half a million pound mark for the first time.
According to Rightmove, new sellers have bumped up their asking prices by 2.1% over the last month, to stand at £249,841 – nine times the average pay packet. The highest asking price previously was last June when it hit £246,235, and before that in May 2008 when it reached £242,500.
In Greater London, new asking prices have jumped 3.3% over the last month to £509,860 – more than double the national average. The annual rise across Greater London is 8.6%.
The fifth consecutive monthly rise means that overall, national average asking prices are now 5.1% higher than at the start of the year.
Rightmove said this was the “strongest price start” to a year since 2004.
The site itself has also seen record traffic, with 1.25 billion pages viewed in April, a 20% rise on last year. However, buyers have less stock to look at, with new instructions this year down 3%. Average stock per agent’s office is 69 compared with 73 last April.
The extraordinary turn-around appears to be almost totally south-based and fuelled by ‘loadsamoney’ purchasers who have plenty of cash and little need of mortgages.
Rightmove director Miles Shipside said: “The tumbling of records is being driven by the equity-rich generation with a definite southern bias, though agents in most parts of the country are reporting strong demand for well-priced and decent-quality stock.
“Despite a new national records, it’s not ‘green shoots of recovery’ across the board, especially for the deposit-strapped mass-market. They must wait patiently until January when the Help to Buy scheme extends to the resale market.”
According to Rightmove, only two regions have asking prices which have slipped back on last year – Yorkshire & Humberside, and the East Midlands, where they are down 1.1% and 0.6% respectively. In some regions, the South-West and North-West, asking prices are more or less static, having gone up by 0.1% and 0.6% respectively.
By contract, asking prices in the London borough of Camden have shot up 7.2% over the last month and now stand at just over £1m. Other big rises have been seen in similarly unfashionable London boroughs like Brent, Lambeth, Southwark and Hounslow.
In Kensington & Chelsea, asking prices have edged up by just 0.6% in the last month, but nevertheless the rise have taken average prices there to new heights of £2,371,633. High prices are not stopping properties being snapped up: time on the market in London is under 70 days, compared with around 75 days nationally.
The average asking price on Rightmove at £249,841 compares with the far lower ‘sold’ prices being quoted by Halifax and Nationwide, currently £166,094 and £165,586 respectively.