Region’s house prices still push up

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House prices in Yorkshire have continued to rise this month despite the first national drop this year, new figures show.

New sellers’ asking prices have increased by 0.2 per cent to an average of £161,876 compared with £161,607 in July, according to Rightmove.

The listed cost of a typical home in the county has risen by 2.7 per cent from £157,627 a year ago, the property website’s latest house price index reveal.

Across the country, prices have dropped by 1.8 per cent month-on-month in what is the first fall of 2013.

Rightmove said the fall was more modest than usual for this time of year, however, indicating that a steady market recovery is continuing, with prices rising nationally by 5.5 per cent year-on-year.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “A holiday season price dip is the norm in August, with an average drop in the last five years of over 2 per cent.

“Even with this month’s below par 1.8 per cent fall, the national average asking price is still up by more than £20,000 so far in 2013.”

But he warned the national year-on-year increase is skewed by a 10.2 per cent rise in London, with prices up by an average of just 2.8 per cent for the rest of the country.

In Yorkshire, the strongest year-on-year figures were in Harrogate and Leeds.

Prices climbed by 5.2 per cent in Harrogate to an average of £301,735 – the highest in the region – while in Leeds they rose by four per cent to £162,893.

The only place they have fallen year-on-year was in Doncaster, where a typical home is now listed at £124,071 – 3.1 per cent less than last August.

The average asking price in the town has dropped by 4.7 per cent since last month when it reached £130,254.

Prices also fell slightly in Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield and York this month compared with July.

Rightmove said demand was beginning to outstrip supply, with the number of email leads sent from the website to agents and developers up 17 per cent so far this year.

House sales are also up five per cent but the supply of properties is lagging behind, increasing by a mere 0.2 per cent.

The website said it was vital that January’s extension of the Government’s Help to Buy subsidised mortgage scheme was marketed to potential sellers, as well as buyers, to help balance supply and demand and avoid a return to excessive house price inflation.

Mr Shipside said: “Demand is already on the up, and that’s before the roll-out of phase two of the Help to Buy stimulus.

“It is now critical that the supply of property improves so that the goal of a significant increase in transaction numbers is not over-shadowed by an unsustainable boom in property prices.

“Flats are most in demand by first-time buyers and buy-to-let investors and we have seen prices for this property type hit their highest-ever level as supply fails to keep up with an increase in demand at the bottom of the market.”

The latest figures follow a report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) that found house prices were rising at their fastest pace since their 2006 

The number of would-be buyers looking to enter the market in July also saw the strongest growth in four years, in further signs that a recovery is “round the corner”, the organisation said last week.

Its residential market survey found 67 per cent more chartered surveyors in the region reported increases in demand from buyers, up from 53 per cent in June.

The number of potential sellers and homes sold in the region was also reported to be on the up.