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Average asking prices for UK properties soar to record high with 10% rise in last year

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Many Britons wallets are tightening but that hasn’t stopped average asking prices rising   (PA)
Many Britons wallets are tightening but that hasn’t stopped average asking prices rising (PA)

Average asking prices for UK properties have jumped £55,000 since the start of the pandemic, with no slowdown in the "frenetic" market despite the cost of living crisis, new figures show.

Rightmove said asking prices rose by £7,400 (2.1 per cent) between April and May, taking the average to a new record high of £367,501.

It means prices have risen 10.1 per cent in the past year, despite fears for the health of Britain’s economy.

The property website found that a fourth successive interest rate rise by the Bank of England had done little to dampen demand.

The Bank increased its main benchmark interest rate to 1 per cent earier this month and has signalled further increases are in store as it seeks to control runaway inflation.

Activity levels remain string and are significantly higher than before the pandemic, with the number of buyers up almosta third compared to 2019 levels, Rightmove said.

Sales agreed are up 12 per cent so far this year, compared to the same period in 2019, and down 17 per cent year to date compared to 2021.

Meanwhile, the number of available properties on sale is down 16 per cent compared to last year and 55 per cent compared to 2019. The most acute shortages are of two adn three-bedroomed semi-detached homes, according to the fgures.

Rightmove's director of property Tim Bannister predicted that rising living costs and interest rates would begin to weigh on prices later this year.

“People may be wondering why the housing market is seemingly running in the opposite direction to the wider economy at the moment," Mr Bannister said.

"What the data is showing us right now is that those who have the ability to do so are prioritising their home and moving, and the imbalance between supply and demand is supporting rising prices.

"Though demand is softening from the heady levels we saw this time last year, the number of buyers enquiring is still significantly higher than during the last ‘normal’ market of 2019, while the number of homes for them to choose from remains more constrained."

Average monthly mortagge payments increased to overtake average monthly rent payments in May, Rightmove found.

The average monthly mortgage payment for a typical first-time-buyer home has increased by 13 per cent (£100) since December last year following four interest rate rises, although this is only 11 per cent (£87) higher than ten years ago.

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