Optimistic house sellers price buyers out of the market

Optimistic homeowners hoping to cash in on the traditionally lucrative spring property market have raised asking prices for the fourth consecutive month, only to find their homes languishing in the estate agent's window.

House sellers raise asking prices
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According to property website Rightmove, sellers raised their asking prices by 1.7 per cent last month but buyers are still struggling to find the money to buy.

The average house in England and Wales is now priced at £235,822, a sizeable six per cent higher than last year, but the optimism of vendors is not matched by buyers for whom finding deposit cash and a mortgage they can manage is no easy task.

The number of new properties hitting the market during April averaged at 28,390 a week but unsold properties are reportedly rising at the fastest level since May 2007 leaving, on average, 74 unsold houses per branch.

Asking prices in the south west saw the biggest month-on-month increase at 3.3 per cent, closely followed by the north east at 3.1 per cent. A rise of 1.6 per cent in London means the average price of a property has soared to a record £431,013.

But buyers are cautious ahead of the expected interest rate rise and Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, warned that vendors will need "serious sales tactics" to sell their homes.

"With buyers still struggling to raise the necessary finance, the net result has been the biggest jump in unsold stock on agents' books that we have recorded in nearly four years," he told the Daily Mail.

"With Government cuts starting to bite and interest rate rises still expected in the second half of the year, those who are serious about selling should look to price more keenly in the spring selling season."

What do you think? Are sellers being overly optimistic with asking prices? Leave a comment below...