Asking prices hit new high as young families move on

Asking prices for properties have reached a new high after five consecutive months of growth, figures from Rightmove show, suggesting there is resilience in the housing market despite the slowdown of recent months.

The price of property coming on to the market in England and Wales has risen by £3,626 to a national average of £317,281, setting a record for the second month in a row.

Couples with young children were said to be “keeping the market moving” amid signs of it cooling, particularly around London and the southeast.

The increase of 1.2 per cent since last month is more muted than the 2 per cent growth recorded in February.

The number of sales agreed is down by 2 per cent compared with the same period last year, Rightmove said.

Miles Shipside, a director of Rightmove, said: “While all-time high asking prices or economic and political uncertainty could be deterrents to would-be homebuyers, 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.”

However, Rightmove said that there was normally strong market activity in the first half of the year. Last week figures compiled by the Office for National Statistics and the Land Registry, which include Scotland and Northern Ireland, showed that house prices were growing at the slowest pace in three and a half years. Prices across the UK rose by 4.1 per cent in the year to March to reach an average of £216,300.