Property asking prices in England and Wales jumped by 1.2% during the past month, according to new figures released by a property website.
But Rightmove warned that the jump was little more than false optimism by sellers, combined with bullish valuations from estate agents who hoped to win new business.
If the price rises give you optimism, check out our Which? guide on how to sell a house for the maximum potential to market your home.
Property price rises
The £2,593 rise seen during the four weeks to 7 February lifted the average asking price of homes in England and Wales to £216,163.
The West Midlands saw the biggest jump in the amount people were marketing their home for at 5.3%, followed by Yorkshire and Humberside at 4%. But the North West, Wales and East Anglia saw falling house prices, with East Anglia homes diving by 4.4%.
And the rises have not stopped the annual rate at which house prices are falling reaching a new record of 9.1% for the year to February 7, up from 7.3% a month earlier.
Rightmove said it was typical for property asking prices to jump at this time of year, citing the 3.2% jump in house prices during the same period of 2008.
Miles Shipside, commercial director, said: ‘Sales are being achieved at around 25% below peak prices, yet new sellers coming to the market are starting out asking an average of only 10% less.’
He added that the group expected to report further falls in asking prices in the coming months, and is forecasting a 10% drop during the whole of 2009.
Properties at record lows
Rightmove said the number of properties coming on to the market remained at record lows, with only 75,140 people putting their home up for sale during the four weeks – a 45% drop compared with the same period last year.
The National Federation of Property Professionals (NFOPP) has launched a property-finding website. Propertylive.co.uk offers potential buyers free access to look for homes on the market with over 13,000 local estate agents, all of which belong to one of four trade associations.
More potential buyers
But while the number of new homes coming on to the market is falling, interest from potential buyers is booming with inquiries during January more than double those seen a year earlier.
Both the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the National Association of Estate Agents have also reported a jump in interest from potential buyers in recent weeks as low interest rates and recent price falls tempt people back to the market
Rightmove said potential buyers appeared to be just testing the water at present, with some estate agents reporting having 40 or 50 viewings each weekend but no resulting offers.
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