House prices rise but terraces are squeezed

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The Independent Online

The asking price of an average home climbed £58 a day in the last month, an jump of 0.8 per cent to £231,790.

But owners of terraced homes are being squeezed out of the market as first-time buyers are unable to move because of high deposits demanded by lenders. The March Rightmove House Price Index shows that asking prices have risen 0.9 per cent over the past 12 months.

Miles Shipside, a director of Rightmove, said: "The falling time on the market and stable spring stock levels would normally point to a healthy housing market. However, this year's celebrations will be severely muted by the knots the market has found itself tied up in."

He added: "The market is still restrained by low transaction volumes and restricted liquidity." However, in a positive sign, the average time a property is on the market reduced to 89 days, from 98, in the month to 12 March.

But the housing market is now being driven by the need for larger deposits, leading to greater liquidity for more expensive property types, which appeal to a wealthier demographic. Meanwhile, first-time buyers and sellers of terraced homes are struggling. The property website says the number of terraced properties coming on to the market is down by almost a third – 31 per cent – since March 2007.

"Terraces' target audience of would-be first-time buyers are stuck in rented accommodation, with 30 per cent of them in our recent survey expecting to stay there for three years or more," Mr Shipside said.