Asking prices in the housing market in England and Wales are continuing to rise, driven by gains in the Midlands, according to new figures.
The latest analysis from Rightmove suggests that the average asking price of a property in England and Wales in March was £310,108. This represented an increase of 1.3%-or £3,877-month-on-month.
Rightmove said that the latest price increases are representative of a lack of suitable properties for sale. This, the firm feels, is an indication of the, ‘continuing resilience of the market, ‘with demand from purchasers for properties that have been accurately priced.
Mr Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, commented: ‘Since the start of the decade, the average March price rise has been 0.9%, so this month’s 1.3% uplift is an indicator of a shortage of suitable property for sale in many parts of the country, with strong demand for the right property at the right price.’
‘Since 2007 we’ve only once seen a larger rise than this in March and we are also keeping pace with last year’s rise, which had the added momentum of investors looking to beat the Stamp Duty tax deadline of April 1,’ he added.
Year-on-year, asking prices are increasing at a modest rate, rising by 2.3%, down from 7.6% one year ago.
The East Midlands saw asking prices increase most during the last year, with rises of 5.7%. As a result, the average price of a home here hit a record £200,620.
Neighbouring West Midlands saw the second-highest growth, with a 4.2% increase, taking the average asking price here to £212,798.
Continuing, Shipside noted: ‘The price-rise crown has shifted from its previous strongholds. The pace is no longer being set by the more affluent commuter-belt south, including London with its international appeal. Neither is it set by the cheaper north driven by a mass of investors swooping on high buy-to-let yields.’
‘As markets in other areas of the country become more mature and run out of price-rise steam and froth, the fundamentals of the Midlands have come to the fore. Accessibly and conveniently located in the middle of the country, the area offers mid-range and relatively affordable prices at an average of around £200,000, whilst also exhibiting local economic breadth and strength,’ he added.
Concluding, Mr Shipside said: ‘As other parts of the country suffer from varied factors such as highly-stretched affordability, changes in sentiment and increased economic uncertainty, it is the mighty Midlands that is the current powerhouse of price rises.’