House prices rise on scarcity and London effect

The survey results reveal a clear divide in the strength of the market between southern England and the rest of the country. Prices rose across two-fifths of the London market and a fifth of the market in the south east.  Across the midlands and northern regions there were price falls. 

The time to sell averages just under three months (11.6 weeks) in the midlands and north, less than six weeks in London and 8.4 weeks across the regions of southern England.

While there was a 4.4% increase in new buyers registering with agents, compared to 18% in February, growth in demand over the last two months has created a momentum in market activity and sales to support firmer pricing.

The proportion of the asking price being achieved has increased to 93% up by 0.5% from January 2012.  As an indicator of the strength of pricing between markets, the tightest differential is to be found in London and the south east where the percentage is over 94%. In contrast the proportion is less than 92% in the north east and north west.

Looking ahead to the rest of the year all the evidence points to a continued firming in prices in the next few months as demand increases and supply remains suppressed.

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