The average asking price for a house in the UK has reached a record high in May according to online property portal Rightmove.

House prices have reached £375,131 as national average for this month, compared to the £372,324 average that was found for April.

It’s not unusual for prices to climb upwards during the spring season, as its often the busiest time of year for the housing market.

Yet Rightmove said that they have seen house priced edge up higher for every month since the turn of this year, reflecting the confidence of sellers that they can secure a better deal for their property.

The rise in growth has been driven by the prices of larger homes at the top of the market.

This has been seen in particular with five bedroom houses and detached houses, it’s a similar trend that Rightmove saw play put for last month.

More owners of these type of homes have been placing them up for sale, which is a reverse of the pattern of recent years as there has been significant evidence that there has been a pause in house sales of this sector in the market.

Rightmove property expert Tim Bannister said that while the top-of-the-ladder market is still leading the way, it’s important to remember that prices overall are still only 0.6% ahead of this time last year.

The market still  remains price-sensitive, and with average asking prices reaching new records in most regions, and mortgage rates remaining elevated, meaning that affordability for many home-buyers is still stretched.

Figures from Rightmove showed that the national average asking price for first time buyers was £228,003 for May, a rise of £893 from April.

While for second time around buyers the average price was £343, 268 for May, in comparison to £342,501for April, which was the average asking price for the pervious month.

The online group also said that it found that the most common amount of time it takes to find a buyer is 62 days, but completing the deal and handing over the keys is taking longer up to 154 days, or around five months.

If you are looking to move house by the time that Christmas comes around, it would be a good idea to start now.


Government data supports Rightmove figures

The latest house price index released by the government agreed with Rightmove that house prices are moving upwards.

This is despite the uncertain climate over when interest rates will start to be cut, which has prompted mortgage lenders to increase lending rates for fixed two and five year deals.

In March house prices rose by 0.7% in comparison to February the index showed, and there has been an annual price rise of 1.8%, meaning that the average property in the UK valued at £283,000.

It’s a significant turnaround for the 12 months to February, where the annual house price growth figure went into negative figures with prices falling by a minus 0.2%.

The UK Property Transaction Statistics revealed that the number of house deals completed  in March with a value of £40,000 or more was 84,000.

But compared to a year ago this was 6.5% lower.

Also, major mortgage lender Nationwide found that house prices had gone down in April, as potential buyers continued to face financial pressures combined with the higher cost of borrowing that turned them off purchasing a home.

Overall prices had fallen by 0.4% compared to the prices it found in March.

The next decision on interest rates by the Banks of England will take place on 20 June, the Banks’ deputy governor Ben Broadbent recently said that interest rates could be cut in the summer.


Election to steady housing market activity

The general election is set for 4 July,  and as a result we are  highly likely to see a stabilizing in the housing market over the next few months according to Rightmove.

Yet for many 2024 was finally the year to make their next move, after the huge challenges that the past four years have delivered, such as the Covid pandemic, a housing shortage and fast moving prices.

While property website Zoopla does not believe that the election will have an influence on the housing market, mainly because the lack of any real divisions in housing policy from both the Conservatives and Labour.

The main focuses have been on the reform of the private sector and the increase of house building.

However due to the election being called, the number of completed sales may now fall slightly short of the 1.1m that Zoopla forecast for this year.