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Written by rosalind renshaw

In a burst of optimism, new sellers have raised their asking prices by 4.1% – the highest monthly increase since April 2002, and some £70,000 ahead of current actual selling prices.

The average asking price for a property that has come on the market within the last month is now £233,252.

The increase – of nearly £11,000 – is up from January’s average asking price of £224,060 and comes despite a warning that in parts of the country, much stock already on the market is “over-priced and unsaleable”.

Reporting this morning, Rightmove described the biggest hike in asking prices for nearly ten years as “a surprisingly strong uplift given the challenging economic environment”.

But it said that the rise is partly fuelled by cash-rich sectors of the market, where buyer demand is exceeding suitable property supply.

Director Miles Shipside warned sellers: “There is pricing power if you are selling the right type of property in the right place, where enough potential buyers have access to funding.

“But if your local market does not have those characteristics and your price-pump is based on little more than seasonal optimism and an estate agent’s hot air, then be prepared for buyer response to be a let-down.”

He added: “In some micro-markets, sellers have the upper hand, but on the whole, a buyer with cash or a mortgage offer is the one in the driving seat.”

He said there was evidence that after depressed activity for the last four years, some households had simply decided they had to get on and move. He said there could be a growing acceptance of today’s housing market as the ‘new norm’.

He said: “Search activity on Rightmove is up by 19% on January 2011 and it could be a sign that some of those who can afford to move have decided to get on with their lives, driven either by desperation or by coming to terms with the constant barrage of negative economic news being the new norm.

“You can get tired of gloomy news or get used to it, and indeed for some cash-rich buyers, life has moved on to such an extent that it’s like the Lehman Brothers collapse never happened.”

Average weekly listings on Rightmove are currently running at 30% below pre-credit crunch levels, with a weekly run rate of 24,406 new listings.

Shipside said: “Stock levels are still on the high side in some less active parts of the country, but much of that stock is perhaps over-priced and unsaleable.

“However, in some micro-markets, the shortage of existing and new instructions has helped contribute to the largest monthly jump in new selling asking prices for nearly a decade.

“While the mass-market stays at home, those that have access to funding continue to be active and have spending power, resulting in this month’s big price hike.”

Rightmove’s current asking price of £233,252 compares with actual selling prices of £160,907 and £162,228 currently being reported by Halifax and Nationwide respectively.


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    Don't forget Japan

    • 21 February 2012 17:17 PM
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    somehow the game now feels complete!

    • 21 February 2012 17:16 PM
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    "Here we go round the mulberry bush....
    all day long".

    Same posters, same topic, same outcome.

    The simple game of mulberry bush involves holding hands in a circle and moving around to the first verse, over and over again.

    Pathetic, but funny to view.

    • 21 February 2012 17:13 PM
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    Been there, done that, didn't work ( nor did 3,000,000 of the opulation)

    • 21 February 2012 16:46 PM
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    Peebee I like it and wish it could happen.

    • 21 February 2012 16:41 PM
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    Happy Chappy: "Where do and should we go from here?"

    Simples. Give everyone a zonking great pay-rise. Houses then become infinitely more affordable overnight - as does bread, potatoes, fuel... the list gows on.

    Job's a good 'un!

    Make mine a Knighthood! Arise Sir PeeBee - I like the sound of that... ;o)

    • 21 February 2012 16:36 PM
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    Anyone seen the latest housing Internaional affordability survey.....http://www.demographia.com/dhi.pdf.

    "United Kingdom: Housing in the United Kingdom remains severely unaffordable, which is consistent with its long history of more restrictive national land use policies. The United Kingdom has a Median Multiple of 5.1, more than 60 percent above the historic maximum norm of 3.0.10"

    Where do and should we go from here?

    • 21 February 2012 16:15 PM
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    There is one answer, as an agent you must educate your vendor at the initial meeting to the correct marketing level and not be sucked into the add a few £1000 to win the instruction. If you are good at what you do like ME you will have no trouble in doing this.

    Without Prejudice

    Dear Agent 1

    Do you remember us you sold our place a few years back (well within the statutory limitations period for litigation)

    It is now clearly apparent that your advice in respect of my property was incorrect and as a result of your advice we sold our property £xxx less than the property 3 doors down with Agent2 that exchanged and completed within 3 weeks of our own.

    You are a nice chap, which was the reason we choose you over Sharpe Spiv and Co however because our place was a tad nicer than No5 and with an unspoken level of sophistication we feel we should claim on your insurance for £xxxxx, I know that is a whole 2X more than No 5 but the Dinner Party trauma and humiliation we both are both suffering is well beyond money so we feel fully justified in asking for the extra £XX.

    The nice girl on the Legal Protection helpline says we have a good chance of getting a payout but should approach you for an out of court settlement to save the claim and risk putting up your PI next year.

    Please don't be offended by our polite request, we recommend you to all our friends.

    yours faithfully

    • 21 February 2012 15:30 PM
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    Realising Reality

    Sorry Mr Hendry, you are a huge Hypocrite. You bash agents and blame them for over-valuing and suggest you have the answer for how to value correctly.

    This is coming from you, that runs a Private listing website, which allows sellers to list their house at which ever price they want.

    Stop Spamming this site.

    • 21 February 2012 15:09 PM
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    Angela Rippon, Gloria Hunniford and Julia Somerville investigate what's being done to tackle the property investment schemes that have cost tens of thousands of people their entire life savings.

    BBC ONE RIP OFF BRITAIN : Wednesday 22 February 2012

    19:30 (7.30pm) EVENING

    • 21 February 2012 13:06 PM
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    In recent years, Rightmove have announced a rise in their asking price index each January. However, last month, they reported a fall in their January 2012 data. So, it's not really a surprise that the February number saw a bounce back from that.

    Adding Jan & Febs numbers for the last few years shows that this latest data is more than likely a statistical blip.

    Jan 2010: Up 0.4%
    Feb 2010: Up 3.2%
    Total for first two months of the year: Up 3.6%

    Jan 2011: Up 0.3%
    Feb 2011: Up 3.1%
    Total for first two months of the year: Up 3.4%

    Jan 2012: DOWN 0.8%
    Feb 2012: Up 4.1%
    Total for first two months of the year: Up 3.3%

    • 21 February 2012 12:45 PM
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    Dear Sharon

    Silly girl, your boyfriend told you he wouldn't take cocaine again and he isn't. He's nipping out to check RightMove 24/7.

    I suggest you and all your family support his new addiction to RM and all log in to.

    Yours SS

    • 21 February 2012 12:44 PM
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    Even if this is Mile's Ratner moment, he can well afford to chuckle, get in his car, drive off and enjoy the fruits of his success.
    Seriously they can shut the whole thing down today, Miles and co won't suffer and all the RM dependant Junkie agents will be the ones piddling their pants that the sky has fallen in.
    You have to respect Miles for not saying what he must be thinking, the only satisfaction you can get is from how much self restraint he must have to exercise not to post or say how much he enjoys your futile efforts to upset him.
    Instead of bitching about him/them, have some common sense and simply ask him to provide evidence that the latest claimed 13,000,000 unique visitors actually exist. Something is driving the numbers up to unbelievable levels but without firm evidence to the contrary x,xxxx,xxx of those could quite easily be Spambots or worse still their own random enquiry engine, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to question what it is.
    If there are 13,000,000 applicants adding to the applicant list each month then it is no wonder that vendors are increasing their asking prices. Basic supply/demand economics says that is exactly the right thing to do.
    You will irritate him by nibbling around the top of his socks like fleas but until you think rationally about what you perceive to be the issue you will not change a thing.

    • 21 February 2012 12:37 PM
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    Peebee........you sound like me ;0)

    • 21 February 2012 12:35 PM
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    AGENT1. I concur with a lot of what you say. You are right. Have the courage of your convictions and stand by those convictions.

    I note, however, that you are NOT saying that you will refuse an instruction if a VENDOR states a price for initial marketing that is higher than your appraisal figure, but wants you to market. Would I be correct in assuming that you WOULD do so?

    I am sure that, as you state, YOU are good at what you do.

    Perhaps then you would kindly tell me - and the others reading:

    You are, are you not ALREADY "adding a few £1000" in order to be able to negotiate the best price for your vendor? How then do you 'know' that you are not adding too many, or too few?

    What is your current achieved %age of original asking price to exchange price?

    What is the current %age of properties that you sell without a price reduction?

    What is your average time on market from instruction to accepted offer?

    What percentage of your register is currently Under Offer?

    I look forward to your responses. Call it education for the masses...

    • 21 February 2012 11:33 AM
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    Here here...Property Prof, PeeBee, Voodoo & A Lot - Mr S of Rightmove ought to shut his mouth and support agents not slag them off - idiot!

    • 21 February 2012 10:40 AM
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    How dare Shipside insult the people that feed him! Stupid man - I urge you all to write to your local rep for an explaination. Lets hope it's a Ratner moment!

    • 21 February 2012 10:26 AM
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    thinking about it has anyone thought about how similar UK situation is to japan?

    they had QE and zero interest rates for 20 years but still suffered deflation

    just a thought

    • 21 February 2012 10:23 AM
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    Comment posted on the Daily Mail's write-up of this story:

    "Last year I had a £10 note and I wanted to sell it for £12.50 so I advertised it on sale for £15. I was getting offers of £7.50, I thought if people are offering 50% of asking price I won't sell it. What I've done this year is advertise it on sale for £25, then if people offer 50% less I'll get my £12.50. I wonder if it will sell this year???"

    • 21 February 2012 09:15 AM
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    AGENT1 has unquestionably got it.
    I rest my case.

    • 21 February 2012 08:18 AM
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    There is one answer, as an agent you must educate your vendor at the initial meeting to the correct marketing level and not be sucked into the add a few £1000 to win the instruction. If you are good at what you do like ME you will have no trouble in doing this.

    • 21 February 2012 06:59 AM
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    Oh I love this

    Where else but in agency can you get comments in relation to property which discuss drug addiction, Japan and rightmove all in a few hours.

    We are all mad I tell you.

    In 20 years us forty something agents with all get together and sit dribbling in the corner rocking backwards and forwards talking about the 'good old days' - the days of tenemants and slums are coming soon boys and girls, get ready.....

    oops, already here, has anyone been to Barrow In furness recently.....

    • 20 February 2012 20:01 PM
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    Okay Gentlemen!

    Who picked 10.20am for Dave to mention Japan? You are the winner of today’s ‘Japanese Dave’ sweepstake……………..come and see me for your winnings.

    Entries being taken now for the Japanese Dave draw on the leading EAT story tomorrow.


    • 20 February 2012 17:38 PM
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    I am assuming that Rightmove raise fees in line with rising asking prices...is there a link?

    • 20 February 2012 16:23 PM
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    Hmmm... Ratneresque, as Ray Evans points out.

    RM have cleverly got themselves into a position of being the sellers' choice of 'shop window'. Now, clearly feeling in a position of invincibility, they state that unless you are in a hot spot (the buzz-phrase being used was 'micro-market'. IF Mr Shipside knew his @$$ from his elbow on the subject, he would recognise that EVERY STREET is its' own 'micro-market...), it is likely that property is "...perhaps over-priced and un-saleable".

    If I was a vendor, I would be less than pleased with that.

    If I were still an Agent - I'd be letting my vendor clients know exactly what RM were inferring about their property - and offering one of a stack of less-opinionated alternatives.

    Messrs Shipside & co should start recognising that they are a SERVICE PROVIDER - nothing else - and stick to what they do best.

    After all - they charge enough for it...

    • 20 February 2012 11:38 AM
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    This wisdom of the great sage of our times, the one they call Miles Shipside is just a thinly veiled advert for rightmove again!

    And I'm sure it will give rightmove an excuse to increase its fees yet again to Estate Agents. The poor independant estate agents are being squeezed yet again to push them out of the market.

    Miles Shipside eh? Didn't he used to work for a corporate estate agent?

    No, must be a co-incidence!

    • 20 February 2012 11:14 AM
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    situations like this simply are unsustainable

    the similarities to japan are substantial.

    the kids ,marginalised from society, simply left,property prices plunged and is still 40% less than 1991

    stockmarket is 75% lower than 1991 and people keep cash under the mattress rather than put it in banks

    the population fell to 1950 level

    all that despite zero interest rates and QE


    • 20 February 2012 10:20 AM
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    "......an estate agent’s hot air" Mr Shipside?
    Nice comment, shows great respect for your customers. Kettle and Pot comes to mind. This could be a Ratner type moment!

    • 20 February 2012 10:17 AM
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    "I despair for the future for our children. Paying high prices for our houses and paying off our debts too."

    News article out today: "According to figures produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government, just 10 per cent of homeowners are now aged under 35."


    • 20 February 2012 10:13 AM
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    I am sad to report that a recent look at my local market seems to indicate that properties are still selling quite well - even at today's insane prices.

    A good number have got Sold boards outside them in the last few weeks and prices in the local rag are back in the 'how much!?' territory you normally associate with an overheating market.

    I despair for the future for our children. Paying high prices for our houses and paying off our debts too.

    • 20 February 2012 09:41 AM
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    Realising Reality.

    What could anyone possibly learn from you?

    You should be careful Peter, you may disappear up your own arse soon.

    • 20 February 2012 09:39 AM
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    Dear Miles,

    I’m 17 years old and have been with my 22-year-old boyfriend for around 6 months. We have always had a good time together and have always got on really well up until a few weeks ago when he started to act a little strangely.

    Over the past few weeks he’s been disappearing for a few days and know one has been able to contact him and when he has been around he’s been really paranoid and has been acting irrationally about everything.

    Up until a year ago my boyfriend was a cocaine addict but claims that he would never take drugs again because of the amount of things he lost when he was on the drugs, but with the way that he’s acting it makes me think that maybe he is back on cocaine. I really don’t know what to do because I love him so much and don’t want to loose but if he is taking drugs again I don’t think that it would be a good idea to stay with him.

    What do you think I should do Mr Shipside?

    • 20 February 2012 09:23 AM
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    As Mr Shipside seems to think he knows everything, perhaps he could tell me how to grow brassicas in an acidic soil.

    I have added lime a few weeks before sowing, but am still getting clubroot. Please can Mr Shipside help?

    • 20 February 2012 08:56 AM
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    I agree with much of what has just been said in this article.

    I return to comment further because I was away and have since read many of the comments posted on the previous blog.
    It is clear that no solution has been arrived at and yet it is acknowledged that the problem is a very severe one.

    Yes I have the answer, and yes it can be fully explained. All that is needed are a few willing agent participants.
    In the absence of finding any I'm afraid the cure for this endemic curse will need to remain a mystery, until such people are ready to emerge.

    Whilst I am fully ready to discuss and explain the way to improve sales across the whole UK housing market, one pre-requisite I cannot change is the fact that the blogosphere does have limitations. It cannot successfully enable a proper explanation of the intricacies of a remedy such as the one I propose. In essence, it requires additional learning on behalf of the participants.

    When, as I am sure one day this will take place, some brave participants actually decide to come forward to discuss and learn, things will change massively, as a direct result. Until then, I can only say that I am available and prepared to begin such discussions with those who can demonstrate a readiness.

    No doubt the debate will continue meanwhile.

    • 20 February 2012 08:42 AM
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    Not enough intsructions to go around perhaps

    Still not enough buyers to create genuine upward pressure on prices though

    • 20 February 2012 08:15 AM