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Asking prices hit new record high

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Average property asking prices have risen for five months in a row
Asking prices hit new record high

Asking prices rose by 1.2% in April, said Rightmove, the fifth rise in a row, hitting a new record average price of £317,281.

And it was typical family homes that saw the biggest price rise, recording a 5.4% year-on-year jump to £270,953, said the property portal.

Rightmove research shows that homeowners with children under 11 years old are twice as likely as the average person to be moving home. Their typical target property types are three bedroom homes and four bedrooms excluding detached property.

Miles Shipside, spokesperson for the firm, said: “As well as that shrinking house feeling, parents with young children also have the pressures of travelling times to amenities as well as the weekday school commute. These have to be balanced against under-pressure finances, even more so when the sector with the property type that suits them best is seeing the biggest price jump.

“What seems to be happening is that moving pressures are understandably taking priority over electioneering and Brexit worries. For many in this group, it seems that moving is definitely on their manifesto.”

Sales steady

Rightmove said that the number of sales agreed by estate agents remains robust, being 2% higher in the year to date than the same period in the previous election year of 2015.

However, they are down 2% on the same period last year, though 2016’s sales agreed numbers in the first quarter were boosted by the buy-to-let rush as investors sought to beat the April 1st deadline of additional stamp duty.

Shipside said: “We normally see a high proportion of market activity in the first half of the year, and in spite of potentially disruptive events the established pattern is continuing. It remains to be seen how much momentum may drop away in the second half of the year with stretched affordability a problem for potential buyers, though competition among lenders who are keen to lend will help some to push their budgets higher.”

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