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Strong property market performance in Q1 2012

This positive start to the year follows a less impressive final quarter of 2011, where prices fell consecutively between September and December, wiping £2369 (1.1%) from the average asking price of a UK home.

Eight of the 11 UK regions recorded an asking price rise during Q1 2012, with London increasing the most, by 5.4%.

Samantha Baden, property analyst at FindaProperty.com, said: "We always expect prices to tail off at the end of the year as the market quietens down, but a healthy recovery during Q1 of the following year shouldn’t be taken for granted.

"Given the current economic climate, asking price rises could be interpreted as part of a gradual return of confidence to our fragile property market. However, for many first-time buyers and would-be home movers it’s the affordability issue which remains key as they decide their next property move."

Property sales:

* UK sales asking prices increased by 1% (£2201) in the past month, rising from £219,186 in February to £221,387 in March;
* This is the largest increase in a single month since April 2009;
* Asking prices are currently 1.3% higher than in March 2011;
* Asking prices are now at their highest level since June 2008;
* Asking prices were driven by a 1.2% monthly increase for houses which now stand at an average £242,574;
* Asking prices for flats increased 0.6%, or £1045, to an average of £177,690;
* Asking prices rose in every single UK mainland region in March, with the greatest increases in London (1.4%);
* Of ten cities tracked outside the capital, the greatest increases were in Birmingham, where asking prices rose 1.2% to £151,243 (up £1849).

Property rentals:

* Across all UK properties, rental asking prices fell by £1 in March, to an average of £868;
* Rental prices for houses fell 0.1% to an average of £885;
* Rental prices for flats increased slightly, and are 0.2% higher at £835;
* The greatest price increases for rental properties were in the West Midlands, where they increased 1.1%, or an additional £7 per month;
* In the North East, rental asking prices dropped 1.4% to an average of £574, £8 per month less than February.

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