Cash investors fuel property price boom

New records have been set in UK house prices, Rightmove reported today.

 The average asking price of a property new on the market has tipped £250,000 for the first time.

According to Rightmove, new sellers have bumped up their asking prices by 2.1% over the last month, The highest asking price previously was last June when it hit £246,235, and before that in May 2008 when it reached £242,500.

The fifth consecutive monthly rise means that overall, national average asking prices are now 5.1% higher than at the start of the year.

 Rightmove said this was the “strongest price start” to a year since 2004.

The site itself has also seen record traffic, with 1.25 billion pages viewed in April, a 20% rise on last year. However, buyers have less stock to look at, with new instructions this year down 3%.

The turn-around appears to be almost totally south-based and fuelled by cash property investors who are buying buy to let property. They have plenty of cash and little need of mortgages.

“Despite a new national record, it’s not ‘green shoots of recovery’ across the board, especially for the deposit-strapped mass-market. They must wait patiently until January when the Help to Buy scheme extends to the resale market.”

 According to Rightmove, only two regions have asking prices which have slipped back on last year – Yorkshire & Humberside, and the East Midlands, where they are down 1.1% and 0.6% respectively.

In some regions, the South-West and North-West, asking prices are more or less static, having gone up by 0.1% and 0.6% respectively.

The average asking price on Rightmove at £249,841 compares with the far lower ‘sold’ prices being quoted by Halifax and Nationwide, currently £166,094 and £165,586 respectively.