House prices boosted as buyers queue up for properties

Eight buyers now chasing every property for salePic: AFP/Getty

The property market has taken something of a battering thanks to the recession, but according to new figures, things are on the up and up. Property analysts Rightmove have announced that the average asking price in England and Wales hit £255,962 this month, outdoing a peak last July by £2,304.

The figures reveal that sellers are now asking for £16,251 more for their homes than they did a year ago, a 6.8 per cent rise, and in London, the average price has increased by 22 per cent.

Further figures compiled by estate agency network Sequence gave a clue as to why things are looking good for sellers - they reveal that on average, some eight different buyers are queuing up for each and every home.

According to Sequence, the number of transactions rose by 17 per cent in February compared with last year, and mortgage applications from first-time buyers are now 13 per cent higher than they were at the same time last year.

David Plumtree, chief executive of Sequence, told Mortgage Introducer: "Activity in the market and competition for property across the country is heating up as we edge closer to spring."

Blaming a shortage of available property for the "rapid price growth", Mr Plumtree added: "With the Government's redirection of finance from the Funding for Lending Scheme and interest rates expected to rise sooner rather than later, homeowners considering selling should seize the window of opportunity now."

What do you think? Are we in danger of the so-called house price 'bubble' bursting? Leave your comments below...