Average Asking Prices Nudge up 0.8%, but There is Trouble on the Terraces

By Rightmove Group Ltd, PRNE
Sunday, March 20, 2011

LONDON, March 21, 2011 - The Rightmove House Price Index for March 2011 was released
today and finds that the average asking price for properties being brought to
the market increased by 0.8% in the past month to GBP231,7090.

Search activity on Rightmove broke previous records in three
out of the four weeks of February, and this increase in market activity no
doubt influenced estate agents to nudge up new sellers' average asking prices
by 0.8% over the past month. After a couple of months of uncertainty, estate
agents (www.rightmove.co.uk/estate-agents.html) are now reporting that
the higher levels of enquiries and viewings experienced in January and
February are slowly converting into more concrete offers and agreed sales.
Average time on the market for a property has fallen from 98 to 89 days while
unsold properties per branch increased by an average of just one, indicating
that the pace of sales agreed has picked up to nearly cancel out the spring
sellers who normally increase agents' stock levels at this time of year.

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove comments: "The falling
time on the market and stable spring stock levels would normally point to a
healthy housing market. However, this year's celebrations will be severely
muted by the knots the market has found itself tied up in. This month's
number of sellers, still handcuffed by a lack of equity, has managed to limp
just ahead of the number of deposit-shackled buyers, but the market is still
restrained by low transaction volumes and restricted liquidity."

Agents report that the tightening of lending criteria has hit
prospective buyers of terraced properties hardest, as they are least able to
save the necessary deposits. Rightmove have found that over half of those in
rented accommodation cite mortgage availability and affordability as their
main barriers to buying. In response to fewer buyers for this type of
property, new stock of terraced houses has fallen by 31% on 2007.

Shipside adds: "Terraces' target audience of would-be
first-time buyers are stuck in rented accommodation, with 30% of them in our
recent survey expecting to stay there for 3 years or more. Yield-hungry
buy-to-let investors or buyers with gifted deposits are the main hopes for a
terrace seller."

For further statistics and to download the Rightmove March 2011 House
Price Index please visit - www.rightmove.co.uk/news/house-price-index
or search for local house prices at

Rightmove Press Office, press@rightmove.co.uk, +44(0)207-087-0700

Rightmove Press Office, press at rightmove.co.uk, +44(0)207-087-0700

will not be displayed