The property market is continuing its summer of growth, with Rightmove recording record price jumps in July. According to the property website, average asking prices have jumped by £6,137 in July – the largest monthly increase for almost five years.

Latest figures show demand is still outpacing supply, particularly in the south of the country and annual growth rates have reached double figures (10.6%) for the first time in 16 months. Rightmove attributes the burgeoning market to stable interest rates and a strong economy instilling buyers with plenty of confidence.

The continuing market improvement has led Rightmove to speculate as to whether the widely predicted slowdown will materialise in the second half of the year. ‘There are always fewer new instructions as we enter the summer months, but this year we have not seen a corresponding fall in the number of buyers,’ said Miles Shipside, Commercial Director of Rightmove. ‘Consequently, sellers are asking for more and getting it, especially in the south.’

A shortage of top quality houses is also bolstering prices. ‘The lack of supply of suitable property on the market, exacerbated by the shortage of new build, means that buyers are faced with paying record prices,’ Mr Shipside explained. ‘These are now set to defy all expectations for 2006’.

London continues to lead the market with average prices at a recording breaking £324,216 – a 2.9% rise since last month. ‘The number of enquiries for London properties keeps increasing,’ Mr Shipside said. ‘This combined with a shortage of supply pushes prices up. It’s a sign of a really strong market when the onset of summer holidays fails to dent demand. We are talking about a London phenomenon!’