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Written by rosalind renshaw

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.


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    Price fixing in any market is a bad thing, especially when the ones doing it are goverments as they are gambling with everyones money. Historical evidence suggests they market will always correct eventually.
    The continuing multitude of props being put in place by the government will have to be removed, but how?

    When and how will the government be able to wean itself from the BOE printing presses and what will it do to asset prices then. Just watch global markets reaction to suggestions that the fed might slow its presses. How will they stop help to buy? When the government has a 20% stake in all houses? How about the FTB's who arrive at the housing market when it stops, how will they afford any property?

    A property crash is not a good thing. But as they saying goes "i wouldn't start from here if i were you". It is the only likely and logical conclusion of recent and ongoing economic and tax policy. When it will happen just depends on how herculean an effort the government of the time will put in to protect the banks. The only real winners of the current situation.

    • 23 May 2013 19:23 PM
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    Peebee - I do not see where I have mentioned or proposed price fixing anywhere in my post.

    Far from it, I am saying remove all the props that do fix pricing, Rant and Rob think this would cause a crash.....I am not so sure

    May I point out that people will spend more on Shelter per month than all the other spending you have outlined put together are sure your statement is correct ??

    • 23 May 2013 18:42 PM
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    Happy Chappy - sorry but I don't vote!

    Okay - so in the year 2013 you think it is time that this Government do what theoretically should have been done decades ago.

    'Fixing' the price of homes is an interesting concept, Sir. Trust me - it would make my job a lot easier (but then it would also make it easy-peasy for the sharks to infest the waters) if we had a table to 'value' off!

    So, tell me - what IS a house worth?

    What should it be worth in a years' time?

    You talk about such a measure being for 'the good of the majority'. Do you also lobby price pegging in the supermarket industry? Petroleum, gas and electricity suppliers?

    It is THEY who, on a daily basis, are really financially crippling the majority of the population, mon ami - not homesellers...

    • 23 May 2013 12:54 PM
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    Rant and Happy have you got the film yet and no you are not the lead.

    Please keep pasting, funny every time. Get them longer I know they really have got you then.

    • 23 May 2013 11:10 AM
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    Peebee -

    This forum and HPC are one of the few places you can discuss how property effects the economy and vice versa. I chose not to post on HPC forums but find it an informative and useful source of information

    Anyway, back to your post You are correct buyers do not have to buy, but they are encouraged and allowed to even when they cannot afford it by vested interests.

    Volumes are stagnant but significantly down on the 5 years to 2007 so you need to dissect the transactions.

    How many are made by families, UK citizens, how many are made by first time buyers and this will tell you what effect house prices are having on UK citizens. I suspect as a % of transactions this demographic is falling and even if it not, the lower transactions since 2007 indicate it is this demographic who are buying less.

    Yes I know what an EA's job is, so you can't bring morals into business either with large corporations like Google and Starbucks or in the EA industry.

    So it falls on the government to put the good of the majority and future generations above the profits of the few. Unfortunately too many of our politicians are concerned with making their own (and friends) futures secure rather than worrying about the pain they are leaving behind for their grand children.

    Vote Happy Chappy :0)

    • 22 May 2013 23:01 PM
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    Happy Chappy - I appreciate that you are not a 'crashist' (there you go, rant - a shiny new name for you and your bretheren! ;) ) - and I, Sir, am anything but a 'peakist'.

    IF house prices were to fall to more affordable levels then in many, many ways it would suit me down to the ground. I have far more to gain by lower selling prices than where they stand currently - but I don't need to tell you what the role of an Estate Agent is. There are hundreds of thousands of transactions taking place on a yearly basis - evidence that things aren't quite as bad as those who want to believe and portray otherwise would have us all believe.

    Does it need stating that buyers do not HAVE to pay current prices if they do not wish to do so - that they can walk away - simply not buy?

    Looks to me like the best part of a million people a year don't subscribe to that theory - and no-one can tell me that they are all being enabled to do so by rant's list of 'influences'...

    • 22 May 2013 13:22 PM
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    Pee Bee-

    Rant beat me to it.
    They just have to stop trying to artificially keep house prices ( and other assets ) high and allow them to correct to their true value whatever that may be.

    What you have to remember that all these schemes are costing us tax payers billions to sustain and its killing the real economy, just look at the highstreet or our manufacturing.

    Look at it this way.
    What would you rather do.
    A)Hand over large amounts of your hard earned cash on a regular basis to a bank to service the large dept you took on to buy a house at a vastly inflated price compared to that the previous owner paid making them "rich" and yourself "poor".
    B)Pay less for the same house, pay less tax to buy it, have less dept and therefore have to pay less interest to a bank. Have more money in the bank to spend on other things and be genuinely better off.

    "our elected dictatorship" is currently making us do A and make us pay for it. You just haven't twigged your paying for it yet.

    • 22 May 2013 13:00 PM
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    Peebee - I am not a crashist but I think you and i agree affordability needs to improve long term ( I think particularly in the big cities)

    So perhaps it would be a good thing if HPI is consistantly lower than wage inflation YoY. Currently the opposite is true and I just do not see a policy from anyone designed to reverse this trend.

    • 22 May 2013 11:30 AM
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    Peebee - Many of those measures are not transaction enablers most are designed to prevent sales thus maintaining prices and win votes.

    • 22 May 2013 11:24 AM
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    "If it stopped doing all of the above, they would however drop like a stone."

    Drop? To WHAT depth, rant?

    How many properties do you believe these 'measures' affect? How many sales have they enabled in, say, the last five years?

    • 22 May 2013 10:33 AM
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    "So - our elected dictatorship can dictate to the public WHEN and HOW MUCH they sell their homes for, can they?"

    With bank bailouts, subsidies to builders, 300-year low interest rates, the Special Liquidity Scheme, Project Merlin, Support for Mortgage Interest, Quantitative Easing, Funding for Lending and now Help To Buy, the authorities are currently having a massive influence on how much people have to pay for homes...

    It's not a case of the government doing all it can to lower prices. If it stopped doing all of the above, they would however drop like a stone.

    • 22 May 2013 08:09 AM
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    "The government should be doing everything in it is power to drop house prices..."

    Oh, dear. So - our elected dictatorship can dictate to the public WHEN and HOW MUCH they sell their homes for, can they?

    • 21 May 2013 21:18 PM
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    Pee bee-

    Happy Chappy's 6 points are all spot on.
    1. Building social housing will have multiple benefits. Provide affordable housing to those on benefits, thus reducing housing benefit bill, as HB will not be lost to private rental landlords. It therefore reduces very significant prop to BTL market. Rental values will fall reducing cost to tax payer for those who aren't in social housing. Removal of BTL prop will see fall in house prices, increased houses on market at affordable prices. Therefore more turnover for estate agents. Win all round really.
    2 and 3 taxes on unused or undeveloped land/property would encourage usage, sale or development. There's something like 400,000 plots worth of planning permission granted not being built on because the big house builders "overpaid" on previous land purchases and are now expecting the tax payer to bail them out with help to buy etc. A Land/Location Value tax would sort all this out nicely as developers would either develop or sell this land as it would be too costly to sit on. This would allow the land to be built on by those who want to and can. More houses built means more house to sell, better times for estate agents. Better for tax payer as not having to fund the developers past folly.
    4. That's just obvious. If it had been allowed to happen we would have seen a proper adjustment in line with the economy and we would now be seeing recovery in transaction numbers rather than the stagnant market we have had.
    5. Don't really need to ban it 1-4 would make it non-viable.
    6.Wage inflation is economic suicide for the country in current world economy so never going to happen.

    The government should be doing everything in it is power to drop house prices, as they are acting like a dead weight to the economy by loading up households with dept, paying the interest on that dept is sucking money out of the real productive economy into the hands of the banks. Lower house prices means lower cost of living, more real money in the economy, more growth etc etc.
    Instead its taking hard earned taxes on income and doing the opposite to benefit of the very few at the expense of the many.

    • 21 May 2013 19:28 PM
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    Happy Chappy...

    If your "six point fix" was deliverable then it would have been delivered long before now.

    First of all, point 1 does not "make property more affordable" in the context it needs to. Flooding the market with cheap council rentals does not tend to the needs of homebuyers - which is all that an ESTATE AGENT-centric discussion should be concerned with. On the same point, I would strongly argue that the cost of developing these homes you envisage would be WAAAAY more than saving some benefits here and there...

    Point 2 - the number of units you are relating to will not make even a dent in the numbers - and the taxes would no doubt be offset by the potential higher prices achieved at a later date in the market.

    Point 3 - in particular your comment "If supply is increased by points 1 and 2, the banked land will not go up in value this means developers will not sit on it waiting for it to appreciate." Sorry - but you are WAAAAY off base there. The majority of 'banked' land is either greenbelt awaiting release decades away, or land bought at the height of the market which is now worth a fraction of its' purchase price and only 'worth' something when the market has its' next upward surge.

    Point 4. Yes - all of these measures are out there - but, with the exception of low IRs (which have far call to do with the housing market...) affect WHAT proportion of sales and purchases? Single figures, methinks...

    Point 5 - The revenue lost were these loans to be 'banned' is the reason that they are here to stay - nothing more. So the majority don't need them - so what? Its not like they can boycott lenders, is it...?

    Point 6 - so in that case we will all starve. ASDA has put the price of potatoes up again this week - I will have to buy less tatties. If this continues I'll be on a single chip a week within this decade if you are right. I might as well be dead, then...! ;o)

    • 21 May 2013 18:10 PM
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    "(I might have called it a ‘crap bit’ of the country and you agreed)"

    Don't think I agreed it was a crap part of the country, although many southerners seem to think anywhere north of where they are is still in the Stone Age. There are plenty of pretty dire places in the south too (Luton for example).

    It's actually a small market town, surrounded by stunning countryside and a decent tourist industry because of that.

    There's no doubt that prices in the south are supported by funny money pouring into London and a shortage of property. A lot of the comments on these and other property-related message boards are infact heated discussions around high property prices in the south - whether that's the best thing since sliced bread, whether they are coming down, whether it's fair that the younger generation there are stumping up much higher salaries to house themselves etc.

    For the majority of the country that don't live in the south, prices are down below 2004 levels - some much further (Northern Ireland). That doesn't get much attention though - this country's media are mostly based in the south for a start. A brief glance at the monthly Land Registry clearly shows that there is an ongoing property price slump outside of the south though.

    Think of it this way - if central London is booming and the house prices indices show a static national picture, then prices must be falling somewhere to balance that out. Correct?

    • 21 May 2013 17:17 PM
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    On now the troll has been put back in his place

    Peebee and others

    Was my answer to you om my 6 possible steps to making property more affordable madness or sensible? achievable or impossible?

    The current thinking from our rulers (all major parties) is ignore affordability, get them borrowing more. Ukip thinking is cut immigration and this will reduce demand (I doubt it, but at least they are proposing something different)

    • 21 May 2013 16:11 PM
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    I do like you ability to pull up old stories, mildly concerned but ultimately grateful.

    Couple of things 2 years on though;

    Firstly ‘Brian’ is still clearly an odd ball, laughing like a loon, bent double, slapping his thigh, dribbling as his pudgy red face forces a laugh out about something you didn’t say as if it’s the funniest joke ever told while everyone else misses it / isn’t daft enough to think its funny or worth the effort.

    Second up, this HPC is still taking its time, looking at that old thread, the regulars all there way back then BRIT1234, Japan Dave, you, this Brian still laughing his cock off and nothing seems to have changed much.

    Plus – im with you, we did agree once you are somewhere in the midlands (I might have called it a ‘crap bit’ of the country and you agreed) where you can buy a whole house with doors, bedrooms, windows and everything for just over £100k so sit tight etc but if you lived in a non crappy bit of the south you’d have a different view as since you’d come home from working overseas you’d have seen prices going the other way…………….agree?


    • 21 May 2013 15:42 PM
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    YES! The moron who didn't understand the comment in the first place has posted it again!

    For the benefit of others who weren't around, the thread it came from included a comment from Fun Boy Agent who made a typo, saying 100% 'deposits' instead of loans. Another poster immediately commented that such an idea would be great - no lending (ie, 100% deposits) meant that houses could only be bought by those who saved up the funds and would thus be much cheaper.

    Our resident troll then responded, saying it was a stupid idea. In order to help point out the original typo to the troll, who had missed it completely while everyone else spotted it, I came out with the immortal comment:

    "100% deposits, not 100% loans. What would happen to UK house prices if it became illegal to buy a property with borrowed money "

    The troll has since been in rapture about this - utterly failing to understand that the comment I made was to help him understand another poster's typo that only he had failed to spot.

    18 MONTHS ON AND HE STILL DOESN'T GET IT, despite all the best effort of many others to point that out to him. Hilarious.

    See it for all it's glory here: http://www.estateagenttoday.co.uk/news_features/First-time-buyers-face-years-of-having-to-save-up

    The 1st comment at the bottom, the 5th one, the 8th and the 10th

    You really aren't the sharpest tool in the box are you Brian - thanks for making my day and showing your dumb ass stupidity to the world again!

    • 21 May 2013 14:17 PM
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    What is so funny about a hypothetical question?

    We have have already seen what happens to transaction and price levels when loans become harder to come by.

    • 21 May 2013 13:24 PM
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    'Pure Quality' - so good you had to cut and paste it twice, huh?

    Okay - you've got a massive bee in your bonnet about r'n'r... so how's about instead of continually sniping you blow him clean out of the water for once and for all and simply answer his question (although I seem to think I've asked this of you many times before and you've avoided doing so...)

    WHAT IF you could not buy property with borrowed money? What then?

    I'm all ears...

    • 21 May 2013 13:23 PM
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    Added by rantnrave on 2011-12-07 12:30:56

    100% deposits, not 100% loans. What would happen to UK house prices if it became illegal to buy a property with borrowed money?

    Its so funny its worth repeating!

    • 21 May 2013 13:16 PM
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    There is nothing wrong with renting, if you look below you will see I advised it rather than overextending on mortgage you can't afford.

    Hi Peebee

    1. Building social housing is cheaper than paying benefits or emergency housing. It also adds to the economy in the short term
    2. Unused = empty for more than 2 years. there are thousands of them, it will help by adding to supply.
    3. Land that is purchased to be developed on should be developed not banked (treated as a commodity). If supply is increased by points 1 and 2, the banked land will not go up in value this means developers will not sit on it waiting for it to appreciate.
    4. There has been a significant amount of government interference, low IR's Help to buy, funding for lending. lender forbearance. I would guess without this the market would look very different.
    5. Who would resist banning BTL loans? and more importantly why!!! You know it might be a vote winner in a couple of years time there are more people that don't have a BTL mortgage than do!
    6. Wage inflation......not in mine and your lifetime I'm afraid....wish it did happen though.

    • 20 May 2013 21:21 PM
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    why do people on below average incomes have to buy a home? What is wrong with renting?

    • 20 May 2013 17:31 PM
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    Happy Chappy:

    "I dont have the answers but some options are

    1. The state build more houses than we create households over the next 10 years
    2. Introduce punitive taxes on unused properties
    3. Introduce punitive taxes on undeveloped land
    4. Let the market adjust (without any interference)
    5 Ban BTL loans."

    1. Creating what - council houses? Sorry - how does THAT 'help' the situation?
    2. Define 'unused'. Again - how do you envisage that will 'help'?
    3. So... make it more expensive than it already is to develop! Same question as above in 1 and 2...
    4. Erm... six years down the line are we are WHERE with that one...? I'll not bother asking the same question again...
    5. Good luck with that one. I think you'll meet not a small amount of resistance but 'hey ho God loves a tryer'...

    As for wage inflation - you'll know that I have been advocating this for a while - so it's nice that we agree on SOME things...

    • 20 May 2013 16:53 PM
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    Peebee -

    I am saying that at present many on below average incomes (which is the majority of the working population) will find it difficult to buy a suitable property without either or both of the following

    a) Government intervention - taxpayer help
    b) Relaxed lending criteria

    Both result in them being overleveraged and exposing us to the possibilities of future bailouts and so should be avoided.

    I dont have the answers but some options are

    1. The state build more houses than we create households over the next 10 years
    2. Introduce punitive taxes on unused properties
    3. Introduce punitive taxes on undeveloped land
    4. Let the market adjust (without any interference)
    5 Ban BTL loans.
    6. Stimulate wage growth - (Not gonna happen all mainstream parties believe we need low wages to compete globally.....(They are wrong)

    • 20 May 2013 15:58 PM
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    Happy Chappy:

    So... are you saying that Sharon and her coiffuring colleagues are to be the next generation of half-mill mansionette buyers and we should concentrate on them and them only?

    Could we lobby for them to be able to form a co-operative - and several of them club together to buy these London gaffes that the foreign Jonnies are currently putting their dubious funds down on?

    They could do timeshare...

    • 20 May 2013 14:39 PM
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    Peebee -

    I know you didnt ask me but it's an interesting question.

    The government approach appears to be underwrite the deposit for her, and encoourage the banks to lend her the money anyway, even though she can only reallyafford 10% of the property.

    I would say she should be encouraged to stay at home with her parents, or rent share. So the banks should not lend her the money. The problem is this only adds fuel to BTL fire concentrating property in the hands of fewer people, or we will see a shift back to generations of people living in the same home.

    • 20 May 2013 13:51 PM
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    So when someone posts facts, they're wrong then Brian? Interesting world you live in.

    What's brought you out from under your bridge any way? You've been quiet for a few weeks - in Skegness again?

    • 20 May 2013 13:49 PM
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    biffabeau - do you really belive that or just posted to be thicker than rant?

    • 20 May 2013 13:13 PM
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    The hugest reason for the lack of stock and transaction no's and therefore price rises is:

    Gordon Browns, outrageously inflated stamp duty.

    The increases in stamp duty rates, coincided with the fall in transactions.

    All of the other items have exacerbated the situation.

    • 20 May 2013 13:10 PM
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    " it's pricing according to peoples' ability to buy that is the way forward here."

    Hmmm.... Mr Hendry I presume?

    Should be - it's identical to his MDT. Complete, unadulterated, MDT at that.

    Let's play your game. A hairdresser WANTS to buy a half-million quid mansionette - but only has the ABILITY TO BUY for fifty grand.

    YOUR suggestion - how does it work there?

    • 20 May 2013 12:56 PM
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    omni dont repeat yourself, no one cared when you first posted it, posted it, posted it.

    • 20 May 2013 12:43 PM
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    The Gov are barking up the wrong tree (again).

    Borrowing more is not the right answer. it's pricing according to peoples' ability to buy that is the way forward here.

    Agents need to help people here by taking cognizance of this fact, if they want o help the market to recover.

    • 20 May 2013 12:29 PM
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    Knew rant would have to post to try to cover the fact hes been wrong, wrong wrong, find new cut abnd pastes me duck!! So funny. Do you stand on the corner of Regent Street at weekends with a sign saying the end of the world is coming. Please post more twaddle, please!

    • 20 May 2013 11:53 AM
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    Omni - IMHO Excessive prices appear to have little to do with the transaction levels. It is limited access to funding, low interest rates and lender forebearance that are the factors keeping transaction levels low.

    In short desperate people will over extend themselves especially here in the UK. Yet our government are choosing to stimulate the lending part of the equation, despite warnings from the BofE and the lessons from across the pond.

    • 20 May 2013 11:26 AM
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    Its excessive asking prices that slow the housing market down.

    Estate agents need to take cognisance of this fact if they want the market to recover.

    • 20 May 2013 11:15 AM
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    Blossom on the trees? Check

    Media full of property ramping articles? Check

    Must be spring!

    And just for you PeeBee - Land Reg data for April gives the average UK sold house price at £161,458, down a couple of hundred quid from the previous month.

    • 20 May 2013 09:14 AM
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    Oh, come on, IO - do you REALLY have to kick off that old cherry on behalf of HPCers...?

    • 20 May 2013 08:45 AM
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    And thae actual achieved prices are what?

    • 20 May 2013 08:26 AM
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