House asking prices hit new records as some areas of Britain buck ‘Brexit blues’

The average price tag on a home coming freshly onto the market jumped by over £2,800 in May – meaning house hunters in some areas now face record high amounts being demanded by sellers.

Across Britain, the average asking price is £308,290 – £2,841 or 0.9% higher than in April, according to the figures from Rightmove.

The website, whose records go back over a decade, said Wales, the Midlands and the North West of England are “bucking any Brexit blues” – with average asking prices in these areas having reached new all-time highs.

Average asking prices in Wales have broken through the £200,000 barrier for the first time, Rightmove said.

In Wales, the average asking price is £200,386. In the East Midlands it is £228,927, in the West Midlands it is £232,247, and in the North West it has reached £198,399.

Rightmove house price index
Rightmove’s house price index shows asking price changes across Britain (Rightmove/PA)

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove said: “Price increases are the norm at this time of year, with only one fall in the last 10 years, as new-to-the-market sellers’ price aspirations are underpinned by
the higher buyer demand that is a feature of the spring market.

“Indeed the 0.9% monthly rise is consistent with the previous two years’ average rise of 1.0% over the same period.

He said that will seem inconsistent to some people, given the ongoing uncertainty of Brexit, is that four out of 11 nations and regions have hit record highs for new seller asking prices.

By contrast, London and its surrounding commuter belt have seen year-on-year falls in average house asking prices.

Mr Shipside said: “Buyers looking in Wales are faced with newly-marketed property prices that are 4.1% higher than 12 months ago, with the West Midlands at 3.0%, the East Midlands at 2.5%, and the North West at 2.1%.

“These increases are the result of a combination of strong demand, buyers’ affordability headroom, and a continuing shortage of suitable properties.

“Agents in these areas say that Brexit concerns are not really on the agenda of home movers; they are more concerned with satisfying their housing needs.”

Rightmove’s report also quoted the views of estate agents.

Ian Marriott, director at FHP Living in West Bridgford in Nottinghamshire, said: “It’s a strong market in the East Midlands at the moment, things are looking up.”

He continued: “Sellers shouldn’t be disheartened if viewing figures are down because the quality of people who are interested in buying is better than before.

“I think people are just really bored of the whole Brexit debate.

“It feels like there is some kind of election every week and so the fear factor is perhaps subsiding, and people are just getting on with their lives.”

Dafydd Spear, sales manager at Belvoir Swansea, said of house prices in Wales topping £200,000: “I think it’s because there’s not so much Brexit doom and gloom here”.

He continued: “In terms of what’s happening in Swansea, we’re seeing lots of investment in the city centre which is really driving things and boosting the whole area…

“We’ve been seeing a few cheeky offers, but by and large we’re getting houses sold at very close to their asking prices, and in some cases, exceeding them.”

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