The traditional ‘Easter bounce’ has contributed towards the largest month-on-month house price jump in five years. According to property website Rightmove, average asking prices climbed 3.6% between March and April from £228,183 to £236,490. The annual rate of change also rose to 15% from 12.2% in March.
A unique combination of factors have resulted in this unusually enthusiastic seasonal bounce, including the impending advent of Hips, which means agents are encouraging people to sell before June. Miles Shipside, commercial director for the website, said: ‘While a boost is to be expected around Easter, this 3.6% rise, which amounts to £8,000 in a month, is the largest amount we have ever recorded.
‘Every region saw major increases, with the minimum jump at £3,000. We have a unique set of market conditions however, and followers of housing fortunes should not regard this as the start of another national boom. As prices go higher, fewer buyers will be able to afford to get onto the housing ladder, although more affluent areas should remain the exception.’
Mr Shipside also warned of a ‘one-off feeding frenzy’ for agents, as the market distorts over the coming months as agents and surveyors adjust to the implementation of Hips, and urged the Bank of England to take this into consideration when setting interest rates for the rest of the year.
Meanwhile, many expect the Bank of England to put up interest rates at least once in the coming months.