NW house prices on the rise, says Rightmove

Michael Hunt

Average house prices in the North West have risen £7,323 in the last month, according to the latest monthly index from online estate agents' portal Rightmove.

The average price in the North West in June 2009 was £170,562 compared to £163,239 in May.

The 4.5% monthly change still leaves the region at a -3.7% gap to the June 2008 average of £177,158.

The UK average asking prices of properties new to the market fell for the first time in five months, suffering a decrease of 0.4%.

Rightmove said in spite of a hesitation from new sellers, this year's price recovery still sees asking prices up 6% since January, fuelled by a shortage of saleable property and the equity-rich calling the bottom of the market.

The online estate agency said shortage is most acute in the south, which indicated a north/south divide in future house price growth. New supply was down 45% in southern regions compared to 40% in the north.

Rising lender margins and interest rates were also seen as preventing many "equity-poor" first-time buyers from "mopping-up" less saleable stock and repossessions.

Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, said: "Interest rates for fixed-rate mortgages are now increasing, in line with money-market expectations of higher medium-term interest rates. Property deals appear within the grasp of cashstrapped first time buyers, but every rise in fixed rates frustratingly nudges them a bit further out of reach.

"Lenders need to be wary not to choke off the recovery in affordability and activity by punishing the returning buyers with ever widening margins."

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