Properties sold at their fastest rate for nine months in April as new asking prices have now reached record highs, Rightmove said this morning.
The portal’s latest House Price Index showed the average asking price reached £317,281 in May, up 1.2% on a monthly basis and 3% annually.
The average time on the market dropped between March and April from 65 to 60. This figure was last at 60 in July last year and had kept rising until it hit 79 days in January before slipping to 71 in February.
Average stock also increased slightly between March and April from 56 to 57.
Family homes saw the biggest asking price jump, up 5.4% annually in May to £270,952, while first-time buyer properties were down 0.5% to £193,242 and top of the ladder homes increased 2.3% to £569,683 over the same period.
Research accompanying the Index showed that families with children aged under 11 were keeping the market moving, making up 31% of property sellers.
Families with children no longer at home made up the second largest proportion, accounting for 22%, followed by 11% of families with children 11-18 or single people aged over 45 with no children at home.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “Whilst all-time high asking prices or economic and political uncertainty could be deterrents to would-be home-buyers, this month shows another strong set of figures.
“Demand is exceeding supply in many parts of the country and continues to push up the prices of newly-marketed homes. Spring is in the air and home movers are springing up the housing ladder.”
Asking prices are still ahead of average values, with the latest Your Move House Price Index for England and Wales showing prices at £301,606 in March.
The figure is pretty flat at 0.1% but annual growth ticked up for the first time since the end of last year to 3.5%. It had been slipping from 6% since November 2016.
In Scotland, average prices, according to Your Move, were up just 0.1% on a monthly basis and slowed to 1.8% annually at £173,335, but this is still the highest for two years.
* Rightmove director Miles Shipside and head of lettings Sam Mitchell are holding a webinar on housing market predictions for the rest of 2017 on Tuesday at 2.30pm. Agents can sign up at