Asking prices in south east soar upward in 2013

ASKING prices for houses are picking up dramatically, rising fastest in the south east of England, according to the Rightmove house price index released yesterday.

Sellers are now asking for 1.2 per cent more in June than May, pushing the average asking price of newly marketed houses above £250,000 nationally.

Advertised prices have risen by 14.8 per cent in the south east in 2013 so far, soaring on the back of widely expected market activity from the chancellor’s recently announced help to buy scheme.

Prices in greater London have also risen considerably – up by 10.9 per cent since January – above the national average. The capital’s average offer price is now £515,243, a new record high.

London, Camden, Sutton and Greenwich saw the largest rises in prices offered by owners.

Across the capital, the average amount of time properties are spending on the market is declining, from over 100 days as recently as January to below 70 now, indicating rising demand.

Miles Shipside, director at Rightmove, said chancellor George Osborne’s mortgage guarantee scheme was affecting the market.

“With help to buy for the wider market due in January, some buyers are pre-empting any potential scheme induced price rises by doing a deal now,” he said.

Though there have been variations in house prices around the country, the trend has been positive in every region of England and Wales since the start of the year.

Even in the east Midlands, the region with the lowest increase, asking prices have ticked up by 5.8 per cent over the past six months, well ahead of average wage growth.

Average asking prices have now grown nationally for the past six months in a row,

Rightmove suggested that the big increase in prices was due to the south east’s proximity to London, as workers looked outside the capital for larger or more affordable property.