Many confident sellers are raising asking prices, according to the recent House Price Index (HPI) from Right Move, an estate agent specialising in house sales and rentals.
New seller asking prices are up 2.1% in April, after a rise in March of 1.7%; the increase in April means asking prices have now risen for four months in a row.
The increase takes the average asking price to £244,706; the highest figure seen in any April.
All regions, but one, saw an increase in asking prices with Greater London being the only region to see a drop, falling by 0.5% in April to an average asking price of £493,635.
According to the report, there has been a 12% increase in new sellers; however the level of unsold housing stock remains unchanged.
There is also a reported shortage in house stock, the average agent will have around 68 houses on their books to sell at any one time, with the amount of new homes coming into the market down by around 4%.
Miles Shipside, Director and Housing Market Analyst at Right Move,said: “Transaction volumes may be historically low but, paradoxically, new seller asking prices are within a grand and a half of a new record high.”
The research from Right Move contained some good news for sellers with houses now taking an average of 80 days to sell, down from 90 days.
Negotiation not a factor
According to the Right Move research the gap between the average asking price and the final sale price has narrowed. In December, the gap stood at 3.39%, but later fell to 2.95% in April. Experts believe this could be because asking prices are becoming more realistic.
Shipside continued: “Sellers are negotiating less and buyers are willing or able to pay more. The discount from the asking price on an individual property is very much a product of how realistic that price was. It is a sign of a recovering market if they are paying closer to what sellers ask.”
Experts are unsure whether the market has fully recovered following the crash in 2007, however, the figures provided by Right Move are considered as ‘encouraging’ and many are expecting the housing market to continue to recover over time.