Prospective buyers in Wales, the West Midlands, the East Midlands, and the North West are being confronted with all-time highs for the average price of property coming to market, according to Rightmove.
The property portal’s house price index for May found asking prices in Wales are 4.1 per cent higher than 12 months ago, taking the average above £200,000. In the West Midlands they are 3 per cent higher, in the East Midlands 2.5 per cent higher and in the North West at 2.1 per cent higher.
Rightmove says that upwards price pressure and positive sentiment in these regions are overcoming hesitancy to come to market, with average number of new sellers in the year to date steady at -0.3 per cent compared with same period in 2018.
Rightmove director and housing market analyst Miles Shipside: “These increases are the result of a combination of strong demand, buyers’ affordability headroom, and a continuing shortage of suitable properties. Agents in these areas say that Brexit concerns are not really on the agenda of home-movers; they are more concerned with satisfying their housing needs.”
In contrast, London, the South East and East of England regions, have seen year-on-year falls, says Rightmove. Compared to 12 months ago, homes in outer London are 0.9 per cent cheaper, whereas prices in inner London have fallen by 3.8 per cent. Homes in Greater London were, on average, £16,157 (2.5 per cent) cheaper than they were a year ago, and cost, on average, £621,589.
Across the UK as a whole, asking prices increased by an average of 0.9 per cent or £2,841 in May. according to the data. This is consistent with the previous two-year average of 1 per cent for the time of year.
Year-on-year asking prices increased by 0.1 per cent, taking the average price of newly marketed homes to £308,290.
Springbok Properties founder and chief executive officer Shepherd Ncube says: “Positive signs for the UK property market, and it would seem that the previous tide of low buyer demand levels spurred by Brexit uncertainty is starting to turn.
“An uplift in buyer sentiment was always likely to materialise as we enter the busiest selling period of the year and this growing demand is pushing asking prices up, driven by the more affordable front runners such as Wales and the Midlands.”
North London estate agent and former RICS chairman Jeremy Leaf says: “Asking prices are not selling prices, which explains why some of these figures do not match results from other recent housing surveys. Overall, although there has been little change, that masks some considerable regional differences. For instance, London is acting as a drag on the rest of the UK housing market and prices don’t include inflation so have risen or fallen further in real terms.
“The spring bounce is taking place but not reaching to the heights we would have expected and certainly not in the capital. Looking forward, we are not expecting significant changes one way or the other, at least until Brexit is clarified.”