UK house prices: Asking prices reach record highs due to first-time seller surge, according to Rightmove April 2016 house price index

Francesca Washtell
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House asking prices in England and Wales reached a record high of over £307,000 (Source: Getty)

If you had been hoping the property market would become easier to enter this month, you might still have to wait a while...

UK house prices continued to rise throughout March, according to Rightmove, and the average asking price has reached a new record high of £307,033. This was a rise of 1.3 per cent, or £3,843, compared to the previous four-week period.

The online property listings website said it had measured the asking prices of nearly 115,200 properties put on sale between 13 March and 9 April.

However, smaller properties of up to two bedrooms - which are typically sought by buy-to-let investors and first-time buyers, fell 1.4 per cent over the same period.

Somewhat surprisingly, of all the regions in England and Wales, London asking prices posted the smallest rise from the previous four-week period, rising by a mere 0.3 per cent. However, Londoners will still need a £106,000 salary to afford an average home by 2020.

Asking prices for rental properties in England and Wales also fell, after they were hit by the introduction of a new surcharge to stamp duty, the tax on buying property, which now requires a payment of an extra three per cent for rental homes bought by investors.

The government says the aim of the surcharge is to help first-time homebuyers get into a market that has become increasingly dominated by landlord investors.

Rightmove attributed the tax to a rush to buy properties to rent before the deadline.

"Interestingly there has been a stamp duty double-whammy effect pushing up prices in these higher sectors too," Rightmove director Miles Shipside said.