Average property prices in the UK hit a new record high in April according to the latest figures released by property website Rightmove.
Property prices rose by 1.1 per cent in April to reach a national average of £313,655. This new high beat the previous record of £310,471 which was set in June 2016.
Rightmove’s latest House Price Index showed that the rise is driven by increased first time buyer activity, which has seen prices expand by 6.5 per cent year-on-year to new record of £194,881.
However, the monthly growth rate in property prices of 1.1 per cent is down on the seven year spring average of 1.6 per cent, reflecting a slowing down of growth in property prices overall.
Wales saw the largest monthly increase at 7.6 per cent, followed by the east of England and the south west of England both showing growth of 2.8 per cent.
The only region to record a drop in prices was Greater London, which saw property prices fall by 2 per cent in April.
Rightmove director, Miles Shipside, commented: ‘There are signs of a strong spring market with the number of sales agreed achieved at this time of year being the highest since 2007.
‘It remains to be seen what effect the run-up to the snap election will have, though any slowdown in activity will be counter-balanced by the market’s current fast pace. Indeed, in locations where choice of suitable property is limited hesitation could mean losing out to others who still decide to act.’
Mr Shipside also confirmed that sales agreed figures were up by 10 per cent year on year, but cautioned that the drop in buy to let activity in the spring of 2016 should be taken into account. However, sales agreed were also up 3.8 per cent from two years ago.
He added: ‘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.’