House prices make their biggest leap for 10 years

Average property now costs £233,252 amid growing confidence in the market

Renewed confidence in the housing market has prompted the biggest monthly increase in the asking price for a decade.

New sellers in February helped increase average asking prices by 4.1 per cent, the highest monthly jump since April 2002. The average property asking price climbed to £233,252 in the month from £224,060 in January, according to the latest Rightmove House Price Index.

The growing optimism in the housing market last month was echoed by improving sentiment over housing finances. The latest figures from the benchmark Markit Household Finance Survey, out today, reveal the slowest deterioration in finances since December 2010, as the index reading climbed to 38.7 in February.

Although any reading below 50 indicates a deterioration, Markit concluded that it demonstrated "lower inflation perceptions and a corresponding weakening of the squeeze on the household spending power {that is} lifting the gloom at the start of 2012".

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, also sees growing evidence of increasing confidence, in the housing market, although February's asking price hike was driven by the wealthier end of the spectrum. "After four years of constant economic uncertainty, it seems some property consumers have accepted current market conditions as the new norm," he said. "We're seeing a strong 'spring bounce' in asking prices this year, but the ball is still a lot smaller than it was before the credit crunch as market volumes are constrained.

"There is pricing power if you are selling the right type of property in the right place where enough potential buyers have access to funding."

The survey follows upbeat news from estate agents last week that showed the number of house sales edged up in February as first-time buyers rushed to beat the end of the Stamp Duty holiday in March.

However the research from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed estate agents reporting that house prices continued to drop across the country,

The Council of Mortgage Lenders last week said its members advanced 18,700 loans worth £2.3billion to potential new homeowners in December. That was 10 per cent higher than the previous month, again because of new buyers rushing to beat the scrapping of the Stamp Duty concession.

Despite the widespread property slump since the heights of the market in 2007, two areas in the country have actually experienced house price inflation in the past five years, according to a recent Halifax survey.

Homes in Rochford in Essex have actually climbed an average 1 per cent in value since 2007 while in South Lakeland in the Lake District, prices are slightly up, by 0.1 per cent.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross. Argyll, has remained derelict for more than 25 years
arts + ents
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
Sport
Billy Twelvetrees will start for England against Australia tomorrow with Owen Farrell dropping to the bench
rugbyEngland need a victory against Australia today
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books
Sport
Tyson Fury poses outside the Imperial War Museum in south London ahead of his fight against Dereck Chisora
boxingAll British heavyweight clash gets underway on Saturday night
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Opilio Recruitment: QA Automation Engineer

£30k - 38k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: An award-winning consume...

Opilio Recruitment: UX & Design Specialist

£40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

Opilio Recruitment: Publishing Application Support Analyst

£30k - 35k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We’re currently re...

Opilio Recruitment: Digital Marketing Manager

£35k - 45k per year + benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game