UK hous­ing ask­ing prices up ahead of elec­tions, due to lack of sup­ply

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Ask­ing prices for UK homes have risen to a new record high un­seen since last June amid grow­ing de­mand and a short­age of sup­ply of prop­er­ties, ac­cord­ing to the prop­erty web­site Right­move that said new sell­ers’ ask­ing prices in­creased by 1.6%, or GBP 4,381, month-on-month in April to GBP 286,133 on av­er­age across Eng­land and Wales.

So far, this year’s newly-mar­keted prop­erty num­bers are down by 4% com­pared with the Jan­uary to April pe­riod in 2014. But, de­mand from prospec­tive buy­ers is on the rise with Right­move say­ing it posted its busiest month in March.

With just weeks to go un­til the elec­tions, Right­move said that the chal­lenge to meet the coun­try’s hous­ing needs is great­est in the south of Eng­land, in­clud­ing Lon­don, the south east, the east of Eng­land and the south west.

In th­ese ar­eas, the typ­i­cal price of prop­erty com­ing to mar­ket is up by more than a quar­ter (27.5%) or GBP 84,874 com­pared with the time of the 2010 elec­tions.

Se­vere prop­erty short­ages in Lon­don have pushed prices up by GBP 195,420 or 49% over the last five years, with buy­ers look­ing for a home in the cap­i­tal now fac­ing an av­er­age seller ask­ing price of GBP 594,585.

The com­muter belt of the south east re­gion has also seen the knock-on-ef­fects of strong price growth in Lon­don as house hun­ters cast their nets wider for more value, with ask­ing prices there hav­ing in­creased by 20%, or GBP 62,105, over the five-year pe­riod.

House prices in north­ern Eng­land sawd a £6,374, or 3.7%, rise over the last five years.

In Wales, new house sell­ers’ ask­ing prices now stand on av­er­age at GBP 176,912, hav­ing in­creased by 3,489, or 2%, over the last five years.

“With low wage in­fla­tion, the in­creas­ing cost of hous­ing is an­other bur­den for many. The prob­lem is es­pe­cially acute in the south, par­tic­u­larly those ar­eas in­flu­enced by the high de­mand for hous­ing reach within the cap­i­tal,” said Miles Ship­side, direc­tor of Right­move.

The Royal In­sti­tu­tion of Char­tered Sur­vey­ors (RICS) raised con­cerns last week that it is see­ing signs of a “wor­ry­ing” up­ward pres­sure on house prices amid the lack of homes to choose from.

Ex­perts have sug­gested that some sell­ers could be await­ing the out­come of the elec­tion be­fore putting their home on the mar­ket. Buy-to-let in­vestors are also snap­ping up homes as a longer-term in­vest­ment - which means prop­er­ties are com­ing on the mar­ket less fre­quently, Right­move said.

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