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Asking prices see biggest rise in 10 months

Asking prices see biggest rise in 10 months
Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

Stronger buyer demand and sales were recorded in March, according to one property portal.

The average price of newly marketed properties rose by 1.5% this month, to £368,118.

That’s the equivalent of £5,279 and higher than the historical average March increase of 1%. It’s also the biggest rise for 10 months.

Despite the rise in asking prices, they are still £4,776 below the May 2023 peak, said Rightmove.

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The number of sales being agreed is now 13% higher than at this time last year.

Buyer demand is up too, at 8% above last year, led by the larger homes sector and London.

However, the average time to find a buyer is now 71 days, the longest at this time of year since 2019.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property science, said: “March is typically a strong month for asking price growth, as both buyer and seller activity levels rise and the spring selling season gets underway.

“However, the stronger-than-usual price growth this March indicates that new sellers are feeling much more confident, with some perhaps being over-optimistic, that there is enough buyer activity and affordability in their local market to achieve a higher price.

“While some sellers are still being over-optimistic with their pricing expectations, there are also more sellers who are aware of the need to be negotiable and realistic, with elevated interest rates compared to recent years still stretching affordability for many buyers.”

Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves, added: “While base rate holds have certainly helped to stabilise the market, high mortgage rates have continued to limit buyer purchasing power across the capital, with London home to the highest average house price of all regions.

“But while mortgage affordability remains an issue, it certainly hasn’t dampened the appetite of London buyers and we’ve continued to see a high level of activity at all price thresholds, but particularly across the super-prime market. Buyers at the very top end of the ladder are acting with great confidence, with the higher cost of borrowing not presenting the same obstacle as the average homeowner.

“As a result, we’re seeing high demand for super-prime stock and many more buyers circling due to a more constrained supply of suitable properties in this sector.”

Related: Asking prices rise in February after six months of falls