New Sellers Ask Over £250,000 for First Time as South East 'Lifts Off'

Jun 16, 2013, 19:01 ET from Rightmove Group Ltd

LONDON, June 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

The national average asking price of a property coming to market is over a quarter of a million pounds for the first time. Rightmove's House Price Index finds that the new record was achieved as prices rose 1.2% (+£2,957) in June, the sixth consecutive monthly rise this year. Though London has set another new record of £515,243, the biggest winner is the South East which sees a record price of £329,968 as a result of a 14.8% increase over the first six months of 2013.

There is also early evidence of a wider recovery as asking prices in the north (North, North West, Yorks & Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, and Wales) rose by 9.2%, almost keeping pace with the 10.6% seen in the south (Greater London, South East, South West and East Anglia) over the first half of the year. These increases, along with reports from agents of a pick-up in transactions, suggest a wider and more sustainable recovery.

Miles Shipside, director at Rightmove comments: "While this month sees several new price records, it's the South East that has really started to lift-off. On top of that, the first half of 2013 saw little sign of the traditional north-south divide with the first-half asking price surge in the north almost equal to that of the south. The good news is that this indicates a wider upturn, albeit at historically low but increasing volumes."

Belatedly, the trend set in the capital now appears to be spreading. Unusually, London's 10.9% (+£50,845) jump year to date has been surpassed by two northern regions; the North region at 11.0% (+£15,134) and the West Midlands at 11.3% (+£19,665). The South East is, however, the main beneficiary with the ripple effect contributing to a 14.8% (+£42,548) jump year to date.

Shipside observes: "The South East offers real comparative value for buyers needing access to London but with housing needs or aspirations that leave them priced out of London itself. While some northern regions outpaced London this year, the price gap remains daunting for those looking to up sticks and head to the bright but dazzlingly expensive lights of the capital. The average price of a property in London is still more than three times higher than in the north."

Matthew James

SOURCE Rightmove Group Ltd