Monday, May 17 2004

House prices have risen again, at a rate of 15.6% year on year according to property website Rightmove.

After rises of 2.9% and 2.8% in March and April, asking prices increased by another 2.4% this month, bringing the average house price to almost £189,000. This means the average house owner has seen their house increasing in price by over £1000 a week in the first quarter of this year.

All regions saw price rises again, with the North and the North West performing well as expected, but respectable rises in the South East, London and the South West were noted as key contributors to the buoyant national picture.

The report notes: ‘This year, prices have risen more quickly than in 2003, when many movers and buyers seem to have delayed decisions due to the war in Iraq.

‘2004 has seen a release of pent-up demand from people who did not move last year and are now actively looking and purchasing properties. This is bolstered generally by positive economic environment, while the two small interest rates rises seem to have done little or nothing to discourage housing market confidence.’

In comparison with other recent indices, Rightmove is finding a slower rate of house price increases (compared with Halifax and Nationwide, which reported recent rises of 18.9% and 19.1% year on year recently), but this is likely due to them dealing more in the top end of the market which has seen lower levels of increase than the market as a whole.