Property values in the UK have soared to unprecedented levels, according to the latest research from Rightmove, with house prices now being pushed past the pre-recession peak recorded in 2008.
Rightmove’s House Price Index revealed that the last four weeks alone have seen house prices climb by £142 a day, sending the average house price in England and Wales soaring by a figure of £3,969.
This increase brought the average asking price for a property in the months leading to mid-March to £239,710, compared to a figure £239,655 for the same period in 2008.
The Midlands was the only region to see a fall in property prices month-on-month, while Greater London continued to be the key driver for property price growth, with an increase of 9% sending the average cost of a home in the capital to £496,298.
Miles Shipside, a Rightmove director, said: “With new sellers asking for more than ever before as we enter the traditionally busy spring market, and an expectation among home-movers of price stability or growth, there is now a bedrock upon which confidence and momentum appear to be building.”
Figures from Halifax also showed that property prices shot up by 1.9% in the three months to January. Martin Ellis, Halifax’s housing economist, said the rise was the “strongest” for some time, and tied in with the growing confidence in the property market displayed by homeowners and buyers alike.
He added: “The momentum from the end of 2012 has continued, so things are looking better.”
The greater availability of loans and the falling cost of mortgages as a result of the government’s £80 billion Funding for Lending Scheme, have led homeowners to have a renewed confidence that properties will be able to retain their value, according to Rightmove’s research.
Further figures from the report reveal that the time taken to sell a home has fallen to 80 days, a drop of 10 days year-on-year.
Almost two-thirds of homeowners (60%) also felt that property prices will be “more or less the same” in 12 months’ time, despite the recent surge in house prices.