April house prices hit record high
House prices have hit an April record, new figures show, fueling expectations of a property market revival.
House-sellers have raised the average asking price by 2.1pc to £244,706, setting a new record for this time of year, according to the Right move property website. Prices have risen by £15,717 since the start of the year, and are just £1,500 behind June 2012’s record high.
The gap between householders’ asking prices and actual selling prices has also narrowed, as buyers find it easier to get loans, while there are also more would-be buyers.
The biggest jump in house prices was in East Anglia, where the typical asking figure jumped 4.4pc to £224,538.
London was the only region to see a fall, although even with a 0.5pc drop to £493,635, house prices in the capital were still more than 6pc higher than they were a year ago.
Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: “With London prices pausing for breath this month but likely to bounce back next, May looks like an odds-on bet to deliver a new asking price record.
“This should not be confused with an overall market recovery, as while spring may be here the ongoing chill of the recession is still in the air.
“However, it is true to say that more estate agents are reporting more activity in more segments of the market.”
The website said that the run of houses coming to market in April was 4 per cent down on a year ago. Homes are spending around 73 days on the market before they are sold, which is 10 days less than in April 2012.
Rightmove’s prediction comes amid expectations that Britain’s sluggish property market is on course for a recovery this year.
More than a million people are expected to move house this year, according to the Ernst & Young Item Club, as an increase in the Government’s so-called Funding for Lending scheme, designed to boost bank lending, makes it easier for prospective home-buyers to gain access to mortgage funds.
“Real incomes are already starting to recover, mortgages are becoming more readily available, and homes are more affordable as the house price to earnings ratio continues to fall,” said Peter Spencer, chief economic adviser to the Item Club.