The average price of a home in the UK rose by 1.8 per cent in the last month, according to the most-recent House Price Index released by Rightmove.
According to the research, published today, the average price of a home is now £333,564, although there are great disparities across the nation.
While London properties are still far more expensive than the rest of the country, this ratio has narrowed, said Rightmove, to its smallest since 2013. Of the increases across the nation, the largest were in Wales, which saw the average price increase by 13 per cent.
Reacting to the figures, James Forrester, managing director of Barrows and Forrester, said that the climbs in house prices were ‘alarming’ and being driven by several factors.
He added: “Buyer demand remains extremely high and an appetite for larger homes is driving market activity. However, a lack of suitable stock to satisfy this demand is causing many to dig deep in order to offer above the odds and secure their desired purchase.”
Forrester added: “At the same time, savvy sellers are realising that buyers are not only entering the market with a budget boosted by the stamp duty holiday, but they’re doing so amidst an air of panic with the deadline fast approaching. Therefore, many are pricing far higher than the market value of their home to take advantage of this desperation. While they will inevitably reduce this expectation during the offers stage, this additional wiggle room still enables them to secure a higher price than they may have otherwise.”
Others took a stronger opinion, including one who excoriated Rightmove over the figures. Matthew Cooper, founder and managing director of Yes Homebuyers, said that the company was acting like a ‘cheap magician at a children’s party’ with its monthly figures.
Cooper went on: ““It’s clear that sellers are attempting to cash in on the stamp duty holiday themselves by reaching new highs where unrealistic asking price expectations are concerned. In doing so they’re also crushing the hopes and dreams of many would-be first-time buyers who will now find themselves well and truly priced out of the market.”
He added: “Those hard-pressed to reach the first rung of the housing ladder may well have the last laugh though, as an already weary market continues to overheat. When the end of the stamp duty holiday does come and causes buyer demand to evaporate, we’re likely to see property values fall at pace.”