House sellers 'put up average asking prices by over £2,000' at the start of 2018

The price of property coming to market jumped by just over £2,000 on average in January, according to a website.

Asking prices were up by £2,067 or 0.7% month-on-month, according to Rightmove, showing a similar increase to a 0.6% rise a year earlier.

The latest increase took the average price tag on a home to £297,587, according to the index, which previously covered England and Wales but now also includes Scotland.

Rightmove house price map
Rightmove house price map

Rightmove said early indicators suggest housing market demand remains robust in 2018, with visits to its website running at over 9% higher than a year earlier.

It said sellers should note, however, that buyers are still price-sensitive and "choosy".

While potential buyers are still busy looking, they want good value and the right property, Rightmove said.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director, said: "To keep this year's initial buyer momentum with you rather than against, serious sellers should note that all regions are currently selling at a slower rate than a year ago, indicating choosier buyers.

"The total number of sales agreed was 5.5% down in the last quarter of 2017 compared with the same period in 2016.

"Setting tempting asking prices and then quickly reducing them if there is little initial interest will be key to turning this promising level of buyer activity into actual sales."

Looking regionally, London is the only area where asking prices are down on a year ago, with a 3.5% fall taking the average asking price to £600,926.

The North West of England saw the biggest month-on-month jump in asking prices, with a 2.4% uplift taking the average asking price to £187,134.

The biggest monthly fall in asking prices in January was in Scotland, with a 4.4% fall taking prices to £139,156.

In Wales, asking prices were down by 0.2% month-on-month, reaching £180,472 on average.

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