Average asking prices rise by 1%

| October 20, 2008
Average asking prices rise by 1%

Home sellers in England and Wales appear largely unmoved by the continued shortage of mortgage funds and dramatically worsening outlook for the economy and are still marketing their properties at unrealistic prices.

Property website Rightmove has reported that asking prices in England and Wales rose by 1% in the four weeks to 11th October.

The increase is the first since May of this year (also 1%) and brings the average asking price of a property to £229,691.

The West Midlands saw the steepest rise, at 2.8%, followed by the south-east, at 2.6%.

In Wales, asking prices fell by 3.3% in October and in the North, by 1.1%.

The average number of unsold property on estate agents’ books stood at 76, down from 78 a month earlier and according to Rightmove, the average asking price is now 4.9% less than a year ago.

October’s increase can be explained by the fact that August and September are traditionally slow months in the UK property market and asking prices usually rise slightly into the autumn.

In addition, Rightmove’s commercial director, Miles Shipside, believes that sellers are likely to price their properties high because buyers are driving hard bargains.

However, Mr Shipside sees this strategy changing as unemployment rises and more people are forced to sell their homes as a result of financial hardship.

He also warns that sellers who price too high are in danger of missing the impact that a new listing generates.

The survey is based on the asking price of up to 200,000 properties coming onto the market during September / October.

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