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House prices already up £5,500 this year

16 February 2004
Rightmove, the property website, has said the cost of property in England and Wales rose by over two per cent between January 10th and February 7th this year, making prices 3.3 per cent higher than in the last week of December at an average of £174,506.

The group went on to say there is no sign of the market slowing significantly after February's rise in interest rates.

Prices rose in seven out of the ten regions examined. The West Midlands rose the most - with prices jumping 10.8 per cent, on the back of an 8.3 per cent drop the previous month.

Prices in the East Midlands fell by 1.5 per cent. They also dropped in Yorkshire and Humberside by 1.1 per cent; in the South West prices fell slightly, standing a tenth of a per cent lower on average.

Big gains were made in the North at 4.4 per cent, Wales at 4.2 per cent, and Greater London at 4.1 per cent.

The annualised rate of inflation rose to ten per cent, up just a tenth of per cent from last month.

Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, said: "The average asking price on a property has increased by over £5,500 in six weeks, as a shortage of supply combined with steadily growing demand push up prices at which properties are marketed.

"The sharp surge in asking prices since the New Year looks set to feed through into higher transaction prices, as agents report a very busy January and February, with strong interest from prospective buyers."

There has also been a 40 per cent surge in viewings, when compared with the same period of last year. Rightmove had seen a 74 per cent rise in the number of people looking at properties on its website.

The average time it takes for property to sell also dropped, falling to 68 days from 78 days at the beginning of the year.