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House prices hit record high

House prices have hit a fresh high amid a rush to buy ahead of rising mortgage costs, jumping by nearly £6,000 in a single month.  

According to the property website Rightmove, the average British home is now worth £354,564 marking the first time that costs have risen above £350,000. It came as homeowners cashed in on the largest monthly rise during spring since 2004 and increased their asking prices by 1.7pc. The average price increase in March was £5,760.00.

Sellers are taking advantage of an extreme shortage of homes for sale, as well as buyers rushing to purchase before interest rates rise. This is following The Bank of England's third consecutive increase to the Bank Rate since December, to 0.75pc.

Rightmove suggested the pace of the market is expected to cool in the second half of the year as economic headwinds take their toll. It added that buyer demand also dipped initially at the end of February in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. At the same time asking prices rose 10.4pc year-on-year in March as part of the fastest rate of annual growth recorded in any month since June 2014.

In the biggest mismatch between supply and demand there were, seemingly, more than twice as many buyers as sellers in March, which led to more than one in five deals being agreed on Rightmove within the first week of marketing – the highest ever level, and twice the amount compared to the same period in 2019.

Growth in asking prices was strongest for larger homes, with a jump of 3.8pc to the price tag of four-bedroom properties as sellers added £23,619 to their property price since February.

Separately, Rightmove’s Tim Bannister said: “Agents report that despite the current high demand, a price reduction is often needed if a property has not found a buyer within the first two weeks.”

Meanwhile, there are signs the supply crunch has peaked. According to Strutt & Parker estate agents, the number of new four-bed listings jumped 12pc compared to this time last year.


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