Higher values 'not a true reflection' of the housing market
19th April 2012
Recent research carried out by Rightmove found that the average national asking price of a property hit a record high at the beginning of the month, reaching £243,737 with an increase of 3.4 per cent over the course of a year.
Yet despite the rise revealed by the report, the increase only applies to London and the south-west, as all other regions have failed to regain their previous peaks when it comes to the prices at which sellers are putting their assets on the market.
"The overall prospects of a seller achieving a record price are higher in London and the south west," said Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove.
It appears that activity in the capital is distorting the overall national performance of British property in terms of value, and one expert believes that the country is still struggling in spite of Rightmove's figures.
Jane Marr, director at the Little House Company, said: "These sales are, in my opinion, not a true reflection of a market that is still suffering with a lack of first-time buyers."
Indeed, if asking prices are continuing to rise it could further weaken the opportunities available to first-time buyers hoping to get onto the property ladder, making Rightmove's statistics a possible cause for concern rather than a sign that the UK's housing market is entering a period of recovery.
"The fact that seller asking prices now reach an all-time high of £243,737 is not something we should celebrate as it may make buying even harder," Ms Marr added.
With prices still relatively high compared to wages and the population's finances squeezed - the TUC has claimed that families are getting poorer every month as a result of stubborn inflation - more could look to the private rented sector to solve their problems.
Landlords whose assets include blocks of flats could benefit as a result, and with such holdings offering better yields than vanilla buy-to-let properties, investors will be ensuring their block insurance policies are up to date to maintain their profitability.
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