‘Prices increased most in North West’, says Rightmove

Michael Hunt

The strong start to the year has remained as the average asking prices in the North West housing market were up by 4.6% in the past month, according to the online estate agency portal.

Rightmove said average asking prices in the region rose from £162,674 in February this year to £170,194 in March 2010.

Compared to the West Midlands, East Anglia, and London, which all showed falls, the region had fared well, while Yorkshire and the South East showed a small increase in prices.

Rightmove said the average asking price in the North West in March last year was £156,584, which has shown that the annual change has shown 8.7% increase.

Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, said: "Observers of the market should note that new sellers are up by over a third on March last year and by 17.5% on last month, so in some areas more restrained pricing is required as a direct consequence of buyers having more choice. We still forecast some further rises in the first half of this year when buyers have picked over the newly marketed stock, though the small increase in March shows how much more unpredictable the market has become.

"In periods of greater volatility, it is worth noting regional year-on-year asking price movements, rather than single months in isolation. This shows that the stock shortages have had a levelling effect, with annual increases tightly grouped across the country. Sellers have upped their initial marketing prices most in the North West, 8.7%, followed by the South East and South West, both at 7.4%. The spread of top to bottom is only 5.3%, with the East Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside being the worst performers at 3.6% and 3.4% respectively."

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