Average price tag on homes pushed over £300,000 mark in February, says website

House sellers' average asking prices jumped by over £2,000 in February, pushing them over the £300,000 mark, a property website has reported.

Rightmove said it saw record activity at the start of 2018, with January being its busiest ever month.

It said the average asking price across Britain in February is £300,001, having increased by 0.8% or £2,414 month-on-month.

All nations and regions across Britain saw a month-on-month increase in asking prices in February, apart from the South West of England, which recorded a marginal fall of £131.

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said of the website: "January was its busiest month ever with home - hunters spending over 1.1 billion minutes on the site."

House sellers' asking prices
House sellers' average asking prices across Britain (Rightmove/PA)

But he said of February's uplift in asking prices: "This month's rise of 0.8% is well below the 1.6% monthly average at this time of year over the last 10 years, and it is wise for sellers to be cautious and not to over-price given stretched buyer affordability."

Looking at hotspots where homes are being snapped up the most quickly, Rightmove said Livingston in West Lothian, Scotland currently comes out on top, with homes there selling after just 17 days.

Falkirk, in Stirlingshire, Scotland, was identified as the next biggest hotspot, with homes there taking 20 days to sell on average.

Rugby and Nuneaton in Warwickshire, Hitchin in Hertfordshire and Wellingborough in Northamptonshire are also hotspots, with properties in these places all taking 21 days to sell on average.

Rightmove also quoted the views of estate agents.

David Plumtree, Connells group estate agency chief executive, said: "With our branches reporting brisk activity from January 2, we have seen new instructions, applicant registrations and viewing activity all exceed the levels achieved in January 2017.

"Within this, first-time buyers are continuing the trend that we've seen since the announcement of the stamp duty changes, with registrations up 11% on January 2017."

He continued: "We do expect market conditions to show continued improvement during the first quarter."

Kevin Shaw, national sales director at Leaders, said: "January saw a significant increase in new listings, applicant numbers and viewings compared with the start of 2017.

"This uplift in activity is a positive indicator for the year ahead, however the market is still price-sensitive and sellers should be aware that setting a realistic price based on local market conditions remains key to achieving a sale.

"We are certainly seeing greater market buoyancy in the Midlands, with average prices up around 5% compared with last year.

"Derby, Mansfield, Loughborough and Kings Norton are notable hotspots at the moment, with homes in these areas selling quickly, often at full asking price."

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