Asking prices in Britain up slightly in May, latest index shows

Asking prices in Britain rose by a marginal 0.5% this month to an average of 308,807 in England and Wales, and £182,681 in Scotland, the latest index figures show.

The report from says, however that the rise is in the most part due to seasonal optimism and not caused by firm market fundamentals.

The reality is that London prices continue to slide and the slowdown that began there now seems to have spread beyond the South East and East to engulf the East Midlands and the South West, according to Doug Shephard, director of the firm.

A breakdown of the figures show that asking prices increased the most in Wales with a month on month rise of 1.2% and were up 5.6% year on year. Elsewhere they increased by 0.8% in the South West, the East Midlands, and the West Midlands, and by 0.6% in the North West and East of England.

Year on year the biggest rise in asking prices was recorded in Wales at 5.6%, followed by the East Midlands at 5.2%, the West Midland at 4.4%, the North West at 4.3% and Yorkshire and the Humber at 4%.

In the South East asking prices fell by 0.7% year on year. London is seeing them fall on an annual and monthly basis, down 0.1% month on month and down 2.5% year on year to an average of £530,730.

The index also shows that the typical time on market continues to rise in London, up 11%, and increased by 14% in the South East and by 16% in the East of England year on year. Shephard pointed out that there is evidence of this increasing in the East Midlands and the South West which suggests that these regions may be entering a cooling phase.

Supply changes were more muted with the biggest increase in the East of England at 5% and most severe reduction was in Wales with a fall of 12% year on year. The total stock of properties on the market in England and Wales continued to rise, up 7% on an annual basis.