House prices in fastest climb for three years

Ben Southwood
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HOUSE prices have climbed more during March than they have in any other single month over the last three years, according to numbers out this morning.

Across England and Wales the average house price climbed 0.3 per cent this month, Hometrack data showed, driven by a 0.7 per cent gain in London’s tight property market.

“The country clearly divides into two markets – London and the rest of England and Wales,” said Hometrack research director Richard Donnell.

Sixty per cent of London postcodes saw prices climb – compared to 23.9 per cent across the country – while in-demand London houses spent just 4.9 weeks on the market on average, the lowest average since October 2007.

By comparison, houses in the midlands and north spent an average of 11.8 weeks on the market.

London houses also achieved an average of 95.3 per cent of their asking price in March, Hometrack said, the highest level since August 2007

This compared to an England and Wales average of 93.5 per cent, which was the highest average since August 2010.

The Hometrack index registered a weak market for much of 2010, 2011 and 2012, but prices have picked up since the beginning of 2013, and this month the annual price change moved positive for the first time since September 2010.