Asking prices in England and Wales up 0.4% in last month

Residential property asking prices in England and Wales increased by 0.4% overall in the last month and by 5.7% compared with a year ago, the latest index data shows.

Monthly asking price growth was led by the East of England, up 0.7% since June, according to the Asking Price Index from Home.co.uk

The data also shows that property is selling faster. The average time on the market for England and Wales dropped to 177 days, the lowest figure since November 2008 and the South East remains the fastest regional market, with a typical time on market of 59 days.

Overall the supply of property for sale remains low, down by 6% in June 2015 compared to June 2014. However there are signs of oversupply in the North East and as a result asking prices are down by 0.8%

The index report says that a resurgence of buyer demand continues to drive prices higher, predominantly in London and the South of England, bolstering confidence amongst vendors.

‘The UK property market is in good shape overall. Property supply remains behind buyer demand in most regions as evidenced by falling time on market figures. In Greater London, where marketing times showed a worrying increase earlier in the year, a post-election buyer resurgence has taken up the slack. Only in the North East region, where the recovery is still in its infancy, do we see a significant rise in supply and this has served to make prices dip this month,’ said the firm’s director Doug Shephard.

The index also suggests that the prime central London market is showing signs of renewed momentum. After a prolonged period in the doldrums, prices there have indicated a new upward trend since May and time on market figures are beginning to fall.

Time on market data for the regions shows that the northern markets of Yorkshire and the North East are the most improved over the last 12 months, recording decreases in typical time on market of 9% and 6% respectively. However, they remain among the slowest markets when compared to the rest of the UK. It is only London and the southern regions that show marketing times indicating a similar vigour to the property market pre-crisis.

‘With the recent political uncertainty now consigned to history, UK property has a clear path forward. Consequently, buyers are back in force but hampered by a lack of supply in most regions. We expect only minor price rises towards the end of this year,’ explained Shephard.

‘Demand, on the other hand, looks set to remain high, with indications from the Bank of England that interest rates will stay at their record low until at least next year, perhaps later. Hence, we expect that further competition between aspirant homeowners and landlords will continue to drive prices higher in a growing number of areas, especially in the South,’ he pointed out.

‘Contrarily, despite clear improvements in marketing times, prices remain stagnant in the North of England and Wales, and we do not expect any significant rises until 2016 in these regions,’ he added.