UK house prices are up in October - but that isn't translating into sales

Emma Haslett
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The amount sellers are charging is up - but that is not necessarily translating to sales (Source: Getty)

The UK's house prices have risen by 1.1 per cent in October, the highest month-on-month rise rise for any October since 2014. But that isn't translating into sales, according to a closely-watched index.

The Rightmove house price index, which measures the prices of homes put on the market, said the average property price has risen £3,432 to £313,435 since September and up 1.4 per cent since last October.

And while 104,000 new homes have been put on the market since last month, a three per cent rise, the number of sales agreed is down 5.9 per cent since last year.

The average time between putting a home on the market and finding a buyer is now 63 days, although those selling larger homes are having more trouble: properties with five bedrooms or more take an average of 76 days to sell, while in the capital that figure is 86 days.

In fact, the number of sales agreed in London's top-end market is down nine per cent, compared with a three per cent drop in the North of England.

“While affordability is stretched, it is still countered by the motivation to own a home rather than rent, or the need for extra space to house a growing family," said Miles Shipside, a director at Rightmove.

"With buyers’ average wage rises often falling behind retail price inflation, and with a rise in interest rates being more heavily trailed by the Bank of England, sellers in these most popular sectors should still be wary of over-pricing. Buyers will be looking for the best buy on the market in their desired area either in terms of price or quality of finish."

Read more: The 19 UK towns most at risk of a house price bubble

Highest on record

Last week figures by Halifax suggested house prices had hit their highest on record in September, despite relatively weak growth of 1.4 per cent.

House price growth has been hit by changes to stamp duty rules on buy to let homes and political uncertainty, although in some regions there is growing speculation they have also hit a so-called affordability ceiling, with buyers unwilling to go any higher.

There are also concerns an interest rate hike, which the Bank of England's monetary policy committee is expected to announce in November, rise may dampen enthusiasm.

Read more: Mapped: How much London house prices have changed over the past 10 years

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