House prices have risen from an average asking price of £170,935 in January to over £174,500 in February according to property website Rightmove.co.uk, a rise of 2.1% in a month.

On average, the time on market is down by a week, as properties sell quickly across the whole country, with demand outstripping supply.

The figures indicate that buyers and sellers are coming back to the market, unlike in January 2003, when consumer confidence was dampened by the prospects of war with Iraq.

Asking prices in London rose considerably during January, going up on average 4.1% with Hounslow, Ealing and Hammersmith and Fulham rising most dramatically.

‘The sharp surge in asking prices since the new year looks set to feed through into higher transaction prices, as agents report a very busy January and February, with strong interest from prospective buyers,’ said Rightmove’s Commercial Director Miles Shipside.

The group added that the market had not slowed as a result of the increase in interest rates as some expected it to do, and indicated that there is every chance these trends will continue throughout February.