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Property asking prices climb higher

Property asking prices climb higher

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 21/03/2011
First Published: 21/03/2011

MONEYFACTS ARCHIVE
This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

A dearth of new properties being put up for sale saw asking prices nudge higher in March.

Rightmove said average asking prices increased by 0.8% during the month to £231,790, as sellers who are either willing to move or being forced into action remain conspicuous by their absence.

Estate agents reported that the higher levels of enquiries and viewings witnessed in January and February are slowly beginning to convert into concrete offers and agreed sales.

As a result, the average time that a property is remaining on the market has dropped from 98 to 89 days, while the number of unsold properties recorded only a slight rise.

Yet despite the seemingly positive pointers towards a healthier housing market, Miles Shipside, director of the property website, said the market continued to find itself tied up in knots.

"This month's number of sellers, still handcuffed by a lack of equity, has managed to limp just ahead of the number of deposit-shackled buyers, but the market is still restrained by low transaction volumes and restricted liquidity," he explained.

Illustrating the lack of movement by the mass market, the number of terraced properties being put up for sale was found to be 31% down on March 2007, making it difficult for first time buyers to get on the property ladder.

The research also showed that developers are building fewer flats and more houses, further restricting the options open to first time buyers.

Detached houses, however, are said to have managed to dodge the downturn, with definite evidence of a more active market being noted.

The average asking prices for detached property coming to market are said to have held up the best of all sectors, being 3.1% higher than a year earlier.

"Price falls and standstills have reversed or hindered the equity growth of flat and terrace owners, restricting their ability to move, compared to their better-heeled detached neighbours," added Mr Shipside.

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