The average asking price of a property in England and Wales this month hit £300,000 for the first time, according to the latest Rightmove House Price index.
The index found the average asking price in March so far was £303,190, up 1.3 per cent month-on-month and 7.6 per cent year-on-year.
Last month’s average asking price was £299,287, up 2.9 per cent on January and up 7.3 per cent year-on-year.
The national average asking price for first-time buyers was £185,612 in March, up 1.1 per cent on the month before and 9.6 per cent on January 2015.
The index says that today’s asking prices are now more than 50 per cent higher than they were ten years ago.
It says: “This highlights the growing housing affordability gap now affecting more and more aspiring first-time buyers and potential trader-uppers.”
Rightmove director and housing market analyst Miles Shipside says: “While the start of 2016 has seen an encouraging but modest uptick in the number of properties coming to market, demand and momentum have combined to push prices over £300,000.
“On average 30,000 properties have come to market each week over the past month, up by 3% on this time last year, but there are insufficient numbers of newly-listed properties in many parts of the country to meet demand.”
Legal & General Mortgage Club director Jeremy Duncombe says: “House price inflation persists but the level of increase has slowed, giving hope to those searching for their perfect home.
“If prices are to ever normalise relative to wages, levels of housing supply must be dramatically increased. As long as we fail to build enough houses to meet both the current shortfall and future demand, house prices will grow faster than both wage growth and inflation, pricing many out of the market and fuelling Generation Rent.”
New Street Mortgages sales director Adrian Whittaker says: “House prices are continuing to rise, which means we’re still very much operating in a sellers’ market. For hard-pressed buyers, getting a decision-in-principle on their mortgage offer is a vital piece of the puzzle in terms of securing a property.”