Average price tag on a home is now a third of a million pounds

The average price tag on a home in Britain has reached one third of a million pounds, according to a property website.

House sellers were typically asking for a record £333,564 in May, Rightmove said.

The average asking price has jumped by £5,767, or 1.8%, since the previous all-time high recorded in April.

Demand continues to massively exceed supply, particularly in northern regions, Rightmove said.

By contrast, asking prices in London are at a “virtual standstill”, it said.

House prices
Rightmove’s map shows changes in average asking prices across Britain (Rightmove/PA)

Prospective buyers are now typically faced with record prices for newly-marketed properties in all regions and countries of Britain except London, Rightmove added.

On average, house prices outside southern England have increased by around £19,497 over the past year, while in London they are up by £1,547, according to Rightmove.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data said: “Buyer affordability is increasingly stretched, but there’s obviously some elasticity left to stretch a bit more as many buyers are squeezing their way into higher price bands.

“This high demand, with both willingness and ability to pay more, has pushed the average price of property coming to market to a new all-time high of a third of a million pounds.

“In another twist, it is the regions of Britain further north that are leading the way, with some degree of catching up between average prices in London and the north.

“While the gap remains very large, with average prices in London still 2.9 times higher than those in the North, this ratio is now at its smallest since 2013.

“The pandemic has given a greater focus on the home, and in 2020 we saw a surge in southern coastal and rural areas. So far 2021 is proving to be the year of the northern mover, not only satisfying their pent-up housing needs, but in doing so also narrowing some of the huge price gap with London.”

Mark Manning, managing director of Yorkshire-based Manning Stainton, said: “Across our region we’re seeing a continued surge in the volume of new buyers entering the market.

“Of particular note is the vast number of those buyers arriving from other destinations around the country, particularly the South.

“This surge in buyer activity combined with a relative shortage of new properties coming to market has had the inevitable effect of creating a significant surge in prices with buyers clamouring to get their hands on most listings that hit the market.

“We can see little sign of this abating and would predict that even with the end of the present stamp duty incentive that prices will continue to rise through the rest of this year and likely beyond.”

Becky Munday, managing director at Munday’s estate agents in London said: “In London we’re seeing immediate knock-on effects of a working-from-home culture take hold, coupled with the vanishing act of most international buyers who have part supported and underpinned the capital’s economy.

“That will take time to recover from, but a slight correction in prices for a city that has previously seen incredibly high values achieved is not all bad.

“It has created genuine opportunity for domestic buyers to upsize or choose an area or home which suits their needs better, with local families affording the space they need rather than needing to leave the roots they’ve put down in London town.

“Most buyers we see in London are local, with properties selling within a few weeks and often attracting multiple bids; in the past week we’ve had three ‘best and final’ scenarios.”