U.K. property asking prices reach new high

Asking price of property in the U.K. has reached another high with strong sales and high demand

Asking price of property in the U.K. has reached another new high, as the spring season closed with strong sales and high demand in parts of the region, according to Rightmove’s house price index released Monday.

The average asking price of a new property on the market so far in June is up 0.4% to £309,439 (US$410,070), setting a record high for the third consecutive month, the online real estate database said.

Rightmove’s director and housing market analyst, Miles Shipside said in the report that sales agreed by estate agents overall in May have bounced back from a slower start to the year and while still slightly below May last year, they are ahead of 2016. This is a pleasingly strong flourish at the end of the spring selling season given the political uncertainty and stretched buyer affordability.

However, he said that by digging a little deeper, it becomes apparent that the main driver of sales is strong buyer demand in the comparatively stock-starved northern half of Britain’s housing market.

The report said that the north-south divide has seen strong buyer activity in northern regions shrinking available stock by an average of 4.3% when compared to a year ago, giving buyers less flexibility and sellers upward pricing power.

Meanwhile, compared to a year ago, stock levels in the southern regions have increased by an average of 17.5%, putting power in buyers’ hands and downward price pressure on the market.

Property inventory was up most in the East of England, where there was 24.9% more stock available in May than at the same time last year, according to the report. Inventory dropped most in Scotland and Wales, down 10.4% and 10.3% respectively.

Shipside added, with the year at mid-point, the 2018 summary so far is that the chances of sellers finding a buyer in the northern regions seem to have held up very well against the previous year, but market conditions are clearly more challenging for sellers in much of the south.

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