Winter recovery for property market
It was good news for most homeowners across the UK today as new FindaProperty.com figures showed both sales and rental asking prices rose for the first time since September, with London and the South East leading the way.
After a quiet winter, the property market has warmed up in the first month of 2012 as those selling their homes set their sights on higher prices. Overall, the average asking price of a home in the UK is up 0.3% compared to the same time last month to £218,114 – or 1.1% up on prices a year ago.
While some areas are still experiencing falling asking prices, regions such as London and the South East are continuing to drive the market upwards. In London, homeowners are now asking an average £460,386 for a home in London, which is 1.6% more than they wanted last month and 7.3% more than a year ago. The average price of a home in the South East is also up to £271,367 or 0.5% compared to the same time last month, while rental asking prices here increased by 0.8% in January.
Part of these increases are down to seasonal growth – where property prices steadily rise between January and June, but some of the boost to prices may also be a result of first-time buyers attempting to complete on sales before their stamp duty holiday on homes between £125,000 and £250,000 ends at the end of March.
Those who don’t owe their own homes had to find slightly more for rent last month after rental asking prices rose by 0.3% to an average of £864 in January. This increase was most sharply felt on homes to rent London and the North East, rising by 1.3% and 1.0% to £2,113 and £597 respectively. However, rents in the West Midlands fell for the first time since August 2011, experiencing a decrease of 3.3% in January, down to £652. Rents in Yorkshire and the Humber also fell sharply, by 0.9%, to £553.