Rightmove says house prices 'defy gravity'

24 January 2007
National average asking prices for houses have hit a record high of £222,859, according to a survey from Rightmove.

Asking prices have risen by 13.5 per cent since January 2006, the figures reveal, "defying the gravity of a six-year high in interest rates", according to Rightmove's commercial director Miles Shipton.

The property specialists blame low property stocks, which are in shorter supply per estate agent than at any time since 2004.

Mr Shipton maintains that interest rate manipulation alone cannot tame runaway prices.

"Where there are shortages of property, prices will keep increasing and properties will keep selling, in spite of the latest interest rate rise," he insists.

"Slowing property prices by raising interest rates several times in quick succession is not only incredibly painful for existing and potential homeowners' mortgage payments, it's a high risk strategy for the economy," he went on to warn.

In the absence of government action, Rightmove predicts six per cent house price growth in 2007.

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