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Average asking prices up 4.9% in the first three months of 2012

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Early indicators suggest that property market activity in 2012 is on course to be more robust than in 2011.

New sellers’ average asking prices are up by 1.6% this month and are seeing their strongest start to the year since 2004, fuelled by the continuing shortage of suitable stock and a jump of 16% in search activity on Rightmove during the first quarter. With estate agents both north and south reporting some encouraging seams of activity in select market sectors, average asking prices are now 2.2% higher nationally than a year ago.

Those property types favoured by first-time buyers have seen the largest price rises in the last 12 months. Terraces are up by 2.8% and flats have risen by 3.1%, out-performing semi-detached and detached property types. This suggests a pick-up in activity from first-time buyers and buy-to-let investors at the lower end of the market. However, sellers of properties between £125,000 and £250,000 will be concerned that the loss of the first-time buyer stamp duty incentive reducing their target audience of potential buyers. Around 40% of the properties currently on Rightmove are priced within in this bracket.

Rightmove director Miles Shipside comments:
“First-time buyer attempts to get onto the property ladder are often frustrated by competition from investors whose large deposits make them a lower risk prospect for lenders and a safer bet to sell to. With the pending removal of the ‘stamp duty exemption ace’, first-time buyers have even fewer cards to play in their attempts to get onto the housing ladder. With potentially fewer active first-time buyers in the market between £125,000 and £250,000 there will also be concern for the two out of five sellers currently on the market in this price bracket”.

In stark contrast to the trials and tribulations of first-time buyers trying to save a thousand or two on stamp duty, new sellers’ asking prices in London have reached a new peak of £455,159. The traditionally buoyant spring market has combined with a shortage of supply and brisk turnover of property. The result is another new record for average asking prices in the capital this month, representing an increase of nearly £600 a week over the last year, underlining London’s continuing property market strength. The average asking price for a property in Kensington and Chelsea has also reached a new peak, breaking the £2 million barrier and now standing at £2,000,120.

Shipside observes:
“While there are active micro-markets in many parts of the UK where buyers have access to funds, Kensington and Chelsea leads the way. The average newly marketed property is now priced £120 above £2,000,000 – perhaps to allow a little room to round down in negotiations?”

7 Responses to “Average asking prices up 4.9% in the first three months of 2012”

  1. Paul airey Says:

    Your stats paint a very debatable picture.. The reason for the new instructions having a% increase is due to agents overvaluing to gain stock as the Market place shrinks .

  2. JOSEPH FOSTER Says:

    Price of property will keep going up forever, it will never stop, major factor paper money continue to lose value, as long as there are printing press to print money property value will keep going up.
    Your best investment is to give up the paper for brick and mortar as I have done through my life. Here is some evidence bought a two bedroom bungalow in 1953 for 2,500 pounds to day that home is valued at 250,000 pounds. Perhaps by the year 2050 the cheapest house may cost one million pounds, by that year a cheap lunch at MacDonald may set you back 50 pounds.
    Joseph Foster, Author ‘’Seeing Red’’ ‘How America is losing the future’

  3. Fernando Arnal Says:

    The gentleman above is right, however by year 2050 who will be here to see prices and value of money?.

    By the same token in 2007 I had a house valued by the Bank in €750.000.
    today I am selling it for €400.000.- and nobody even make enquires about it.

    I guess the only thing we are sure of is that we will die sometime and that only the politicians will continue living as they are.

  4. davis Says:

    Ive always thought the agents control house prices ,if the trend of increase prices goes on the builders wont be able to afford to build, and considering goverment backed schemes are the only way people can afford to get on to the property ladder, what happens then.Gone is the decresae in stamp duty god help us all we all will be back on housing benifit if it still exists! Im not a builder

  5. Brian Mead Says:

    I spoke to a real estate agent today in the Croydon Area, 4 weeks ago he told me it was a great time to sell , today he said there has been a shift in the market and not to put a property on the market , who is telling the truth ? are these values and selling prospects we hear about real ??

  6. Herbie Says:

    The baby-boom generation, of which Joseph Foster (above) is, I presume, a member, are laughing all the way to the bank, while young people are being shafted every which way by exorbitant house prices and rental prices. It’s an utter disgrace.

  7. Alan Morris Says:

    Asking prices are meaningless, as are most of the other indices produced by estate agents to talk the market up.
    The only index you have to look at is the Land Registry, which shows actual SOLD PRICES – and these are clearly going down (London excepted)

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