Asking prices for homes in England and Wales have risen 0.5% this month to an average of £308,807 (US$417,107), according to the latest asking price index from Home.co.uk.
But the rises—though marginal—may be explained by seasonal optimism and not by firm market fundamentals, said the report, released last week.
The index is based on asking price data, which means it can provide insights into price movements around five months ahead of mortgage completion and actual sales data, the real estate database said.
Asking prices rose most across Wales, which logged increases of 1.2% this month and 5.6% year-on-year. The Welsh property market is showing “extraordinary vigor,” the report said.
The average number of days a property spends on the market in Wales is now 227. While that’s higher than the 157-day average across all regions in England and Wales, it represents a 16% decrease year from last year.
Wales is followed by the East Midlands, the West Midlands and the South West, which are all seeing monthly asking price rises of 0.8%, according to the report.
At the opposite end of the scale is London, where prices have been steadily declining for some time. Asking prices in the city are down 0.1% in May to an average of £530,730 (US$716,591). The North East of England performed worse than the capital, though, logging asking-price declines of 0.5%.
“We could be in for a very long period of near-zero growth and ultra-low interest rates seem here to stay for the foreseeable future,” said Doug Shephard, director at Home.co.uk. “Sure, there are some U.K. regions that still have vibrant markets, but the fat lady has sung as far as the cheap debt-fuelled growth part of the property cycle is concerned.”
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