Average property asking prices rose by just 0.6% in July, according to the latest report from Rightmove. This is the fifth monthly rise on their records this year which the property website thinks indicates the prospect of a steady market for the second half of the year.

These figures also indicate that the best time to grab a property bargain was at the end of the year last year when prices were ‘in freefall’, the report states. ‘The window of opportunity to pick up the best buys in popular areas in this phase of the market is therefore closing.’  

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Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, said: ‘There is now clear evidence that there were some fire-sale prices last winter, when a few brave buyers correctly called the bottom of the market. In most parts of the country prices have consistently improved during spring. With growing confidence that we’ve passed the bottom, buyers are more active, although they may discover that many of the best buys have gone.’

For the rest of the year the report predicts the market will be bumping along the bottom for some time to come, but remains optimistic on mortgage approvals and prices for the rest of 2009.

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