HOUSE-SELLERS’ asking prices have ended the year nearly £20,000 higher than when 2015 started.
And in a year’s time, asking prices will be another £17,000 higher than they are now as the “stark imbalance” between housing supply and demand from buyers continues to push property values to more record highs, a property website predicts.
Rightmove says ‘vibrant’ cities such as Leeds will prove more attractive than London for many buyers.
Rightmove’s figures, which cover England and Wales, show that sellers are now demanding £289,452 for a home on average. This is £19,975 higher than the typical asking price in December 2014, which was £269,477.
The £17,000 increase predicted by Rightmove would push the average price tag on a property well over the £300,000 mark by the end of 2016.
Over 2015, asking prices have increased by 2.8 per cent in Yorkshire and the Humber. But in London the growth was even greater. Already, asking prices in London are typically £55,458 or 9.9 per cent higher than they were a year ago, having reached around £616,548.
The South East and the East of England have seen the next strongest price growth over 2015, with average asking prices pushed up by 9.2 per cent over the last year, taking them to £381,609 and £309,839 respectively.
No region across England and Wales has seen average asking prices fall over the last year, according to Rightmove.
Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: “Whilst a fall is the norm at this time of year, this is December’s best post-financial-crash performance, signalling another round of price rises in 2016.
“Despite the shortage of suitable stock in many parts of the market, demand for housing is on the up. Although the average price of property coming to market is already up by a hefty 7.4 per cent compared to a year ago, Rightmove forecasts that prices will reach and breach new records next year.”
Rightmove said that with further price hikes on the horizon, more young professionals may give up on the idea of London living and instead head for vibrant cities such as Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh and Cardiff. There may also be more buyers looking for value in areas north and west of London next year, it suggested.
This could spell further upward pressure on prices in these areas amid growing demand.
Mr Shipside said that while initiatives such as Help to Buy will encourage developers to build more new homes, this will take time.
Mark Manning, of Manning Stainton in Leeds, Harrogate, Wetherby and Wakefield, said: “The last 12 months has seen a surplus of supply turn into an excess of demand within a relatively short space of time, leaving the shelves pretty bare this festive season. Overall Leeds, for example, has just 3,500 properties for sale, 30 per cent down on what we would consider the norm. Against this we’ve seen a surge of new buyers and tenants.”