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Asking prices ticked up in April, but are still lower than this time last year

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

An unexpected boost to asking prices was driven by family homes, which are in demand, but overall the market is still subdued

The asking price of properties listed has increased by an average of 1.1% – £3,447 – in April, the biggest month-on-month rise for over a year and the largest at this time of year since 2016, said Rightmove.

However, Brexit chaos continues to hold back the market, with new seller asking prices, the number of properties coming to market and the number of sales agreed all below this time last year.

Family homes boost

The family home sector, three and four-bedroom properties, is outperforming other sectors, coming to the market at asking prices 0.7% on average higher than a year ago compared to the national average fall for all properties of 0.1%.

Owners of this type of property are also slightly more willing to come to market, with 0.7% more new sellers than this time a year ago, compared with a 1.2% fall in new-to-the-market sellers nationally.

Finally, this sector is more likely to sell, with the number of sales agreed down by just 0.4% compared to this time last year, while the national average drop is 1.6%.”

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “The rise in new seller asking prices reflects growing activity as the market builds momentum, egged on by the arrival of Easter. Some sectors of the market and some parts of the country have strong buyer demand and a lack of suitable supply.

“However, on average, properties are still coming to the market at slightly lower prices than a year ago. It’s one of the most price-sensitive markets that we’ve seen for years, with buyers understandably looking for value or for homes with extra quality and appeal that suit their needs.”

Bruce King, director of Cheffins estate agents in Cambridge, added: “While the 2018 market definitely was not all doom and gloom, 2019 has certainly seen a new vigour.

“We’re certainly seeing an uplift in activity as we come into the spring and summer months. The best way to describe the sentiment in the market at the moment is ‘bored of Brexit;’ fed up with sitting on their hands, sellers are now looking to get on with their lives and move house and buyers are looking to secure somewhere new.”