Property prices see autumn bounce-back


The price of property coming to market has seen an autumn bounce-back, with asking prices being hiked by more than £2,200 over the last month, Rightmove has reported.

The 0.7% or £2,277 month-on-month increase in September took the average asking price for a home across England and Wales to £306,499.

The increase goes some way towards offsetting a £6,249 fall in the average price tag on a home seen across July and August.

Aspiring first-time buyers hoping to pick up a post-Brexit vote bargain may see their hopes dashed by the "rising tide" of prices.

The average price tag on a home with two bedrooms or fewer - the type of property often favoured by first-time buyers - has jumped by 3.3% or £6,240 month-on-month in September, and by 10.5% or £18,450 over the past year. The typical first-time buyer home now has an asking price of £194,477.

Rightmove said the typical house seller's asking price across homes of all sizes has increased by 4% over the last year.

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: "Some of those trying to get onto the property ladder may have wistfully listened to speculation of lower prices in a post-Brexit Britain.

"While the referendum result has created additional downwards price pressure in some upper segments of the market that were already slowing, those who do not own a home and arguably have the greatest housing need are now finding it harder to achieve their goal in the post-Brexit vote aftermath."

Rightmove said the price of a first-time buyer home has already come under upwards pressure due to a stamp duty hike for buy-to-let investors on April 1, which led to investors snapping up properties ahead of the tax hike.

Rightmove said buy-to-let landlords, having heavily concentrated on buying up smaller homes as a long-term investment, typically do not sell them on again often.

Mr Shipside warned: "The rising tide of prices is marooning more and more first-time buyers."

In further glimpses of an autumn pick-up in activity, Rightmove said it saw an 8% increase in website visits in the first full week of September, after the end of the holiday season, compared to the same period in 2015.

London saw the strongest monthly increase in asking prices in September, with a 1.9% upswing taking the average price tag on a home there to £630,974.

The East Midlands saw the next biggest monthly uplift, with a 1.3% rise pushing prices to £197,502 on average.

Wales saw the biggest monthly decrease in asking prices in September, with a 1.9% fall taking the average asking price to £177,077.

Asking prices in the South West, the West Midlands and the North East were unchanged month-on-month, while they increased in the South East and East Anglia and edged down in Yorkshire and the Humber and the North West.

Rightmove also quoted the views of estate agents in its report.

Duncan Young, managing director of Sanderson Young in Newcastle upon Tyne, said: "The year started well until May when the Brexit fears caused a significant reduction in inquiries between May and July.

"We're pleased to report that August and September activity has been double that of last year, making amends for the wobble earlier."

Aidan Branch, director of Durrants in Norfolk and Suffolk, said: "In the North Suffolk and South Norfolk area available stock remains the major issue. Undoubtedly house prices are rising slightly - this is due to lack of stock and reasonable levels of demand."

Kevin Shaw, estate agent Leaders' national sales director, said September had got off to a "strong start".

And Steve Pymm, managing director of Pymm & Co Estate Agents in Norwich, said: "August in general was a very good month in Norfolk with the interest rate drop giving renewed confidence, and we saw family homes and bungalows sell very well."