Home-buyers won't budge on location
%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%Prospective home-buyers are taking a "no compromise" stance over the location they want to live in with just one in 10 people saying they would be willing to settle for second best, a property search website has found.
But Rightmove warned would-be buyers who are waiting for a home to become available in their most desired area that they are playing a "risky game", as rising property values mean that by the time one comes up they could find themselves priced out.
Rightmove's research of more than 45,000 people from across the UK found that 58% of those looking to buy a property are still searching or waiting for a home to be put on the market in their ideal location.
Meanwhile, almost four-fifths (79%) of people surveyed expect house prices to be higher in a year's time. Those living in London, where the market has been particularly strong amid high amounts of interest from overseas buyers, were the most likely to say this at 84%, followed by 83% of people living in the South East.
People living in Scotland and the North West were the least likely to think that house prices will be higher by early 2015, at 71% and 72% respectively.
Across the country, first-time buyers were found to be the most likely to be willing to compromise on location - but 85% of people trying to get on the property ladder still said they would not widen their search elsewhere.
Those looking to downsize to a smaller home, perhaps because their families have flown the nest or they are freeing up cash for retirement, were found to be the least likely to consider settling for a second-choice location. Some 92% of people in this group said they would refuse to consider somewhere else.
Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: "There's a real mismatch between buyers' no compromise stance on their most favoured place to live and the rising tide of prices.
"Playing a waiting game and holding out for the right property in the right location could prove risky as, with prices in some locations rising by the month, buyers may discover that the one they've been waiting for is over their budget."
Some recent housing market studies have pointed to a lack of supply of homes coming to market, which is helping to put a strong upward pressure on house prices in some areas as mortgage support schemes such as Help to Buy unleash more potential buyers into the market.
Experts normally see a seasonal "spring bounce" around this time of year as more people start thinking about moving house, which could result in more people being encouraged to put their house up for sale.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently said that house prices lifted to a new all-time high in December and the average house price across the UK is now £250,000.
The ONS said that while London is still responsible for a large part of rising values, price growth is "beginning to increase strongly across parts of the UK".
Mr Shipside continued: "If people were willing to widen their location criteria even within a few miles, they might find they can find the type of property they want, but at a more affordable price.
"Furthermore, the downsizers who are least willing to compromise might run the risk of leaving moving too late and have less energy to fully embrace the freedoms of moving into a smaller home and a new community."
Here are the percentages of people who predict property prices will be higher in a year's time by region according to Rightmove (Northern Ireland is not included in the breakdown due to a small sample size):
:: East Anglia, 80%
:: East Midlands, 78%
:: London, 84%
:: North East, 72%
:: North West, 74%
:: Scotland, 71%
:: South East, 83%
:: South West, 80%
:: Wales, 75%
:: West Midlands, 77%
:: Yorkshire, 75%
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Home-buyers won't budge on location
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