House prices were up for the second month in a row in April, according to property website Hometrack. Overall, prices rose 0.1 per cent in the month compared with a more robust 0.2 per cent increase in March.
The rise comes despite the end of the stamp-duty holiday and the wet spring weather. Overall, demand among buyers was higher, up 25 per cent over the last three months. But there are signs this is slowing with new buyer registrations up just 2.1 per cent in April as opposed to 4.4 per cent in May.
As in recent months, London led the way, with an above-average price rise of 0.3 per cent over April. "The strongest gains were seen in London, with small gains across the regions of Southern England. Elsewhere house prices were either static of falling," Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, said.
Not only are asking prices higher in London and the South East but homes are selling quicker. Hometrack said it is taking just six weeks for a property to sell in the capital but further north and west the time doubles.
Meanwhile, the actual price properties are selling for as opposed to asking price has been increasing marginally so far this year. "The proportion of the asking price achieved has moved up to 93.1 per cent. This would indicate some recovery of prices," Mr Donnell added.