Rise in asking prices highest for 14 months, says Rightmove

New sellers pushed average asking prices up by almost £4,000 during April in the largest price rise seen for 14 months, figures from Rightmove reveal.

The Rightmove House Price Index for April shows that the average property asking price has risen by 1.8% to £222,077 from £218,081 the previous month.

This is the third month in a row that average asking prices have risen, which Rightmove suggests may indicate that the housing market has hit a price floor.

Confidence is thought to be returning as the number of new sellers has also increased in the past month.

Some 22,260 new home owners per week are looking to sell their properties and whilst this number is down 19% from the same time last year, the figure has climbed 13% from March.

The length of time a property is on the market has fallen from 81 days to 77 days.

Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, says: “My view is that many sellers are still starting too high, but the fact that they are coming to market in greater numbers and feel they can ask more shows a strengthening in resolve and confidence which is an encouraging sign.

“It looks like we are now bumping along the bottom of the trough, but for there to be any real sense of optimism that we’re on a sustainable road to recovery the availability of mortgage finance needs to improve significantly given that mortgage activity is currently running at around a third of its average levels between 2002 and 2007.

“Thankfully mortgage lenders are finally starting to release more funds to finance new house purchases.”