For many of us, keeping a roof over our heads is an unrelenting challenge in the current property market. While average annual rents recently dropped, the decrease was negligible. Landlords continue to exploit vulnerable young people with “sex-for-rent” deals, and most millennials will miss out on the £400bn property “wealth mountain” set to be passed down the generations.
And it’s not just the rental market that’s the pits, either. New figures have reinforced our pessimism about maybe one day buying a property, as it was revealed that sellers’ asking prices hit a new record high in England and Wales, averaging more than £313,000 in April.
The data, released by property website Rightmove, show the average asking price for a property being put on the market rose by £3,547 (a 1.1% month-on-month increase) to reach £313,655, reported The Guardian. This is up from a previous high of £310,471 in June 2016.
One factor that’s driven the upward trend is the increase in the number of agreed house sales, which have returned to pre-credit crunch levels, Rightmove said.
The first-time buyer sector has also driven up asking prices, as buy-to-let landlords have been deterred from getting involved in the market by changes to previously generous tax rules, added Rightmove.
Asking prices for first-time properties increased by 6.5% year-on-year, with a typical such property (max. two bedrooms) now coming with a record high price tag of £194,881, The Guardian reported.
Asking prices are up 2.2% from last April across all property sectors in England and Wales, Rightmove said, with London and the northeast the only regions where average prices were lower year-on-year.
The average asking price in London dropped by 1.5% annually and now stands at a still-eye-watering £636,777. In the northeast it fell by a less stark 0.7% and the average asking price is now £150,350.
The sharpest rise in asking prices over the last year was in eastern England (5.3%), where the average property price is now £349,269. This was followed by the West Midlands (5%), where the average price is £215,784, and by Wales, where a 4% annual increase saw the average asking price rise to £186,172.
Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said we haven't seen so many agreed property sales since 2007 and that demand for housing (sadly) remains high. He said: “With the growth in household numbers and new-build supply struggling to keep pace, demand is strong and has led to the highest sales agreed numbers at this time of year since the heady pre-credit crunch levels,” reported The Guardian.