Property prices on the up, says Rightmove

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The Independent Online

The average property asking price climbed £1,596 in the past month to £233,139, but it still lies 3 per cent lower than at the start of the summer.

The Rightmove House Price Index shows that asking prices have climbed 2.5 per cent in the three years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers. In the previous three years, however, prices climbed 16.4 per cent.

The average price of a property coming to market in September 2008 was £227,438 but back in September 2005 it stood at £195,407.

The index measured the prices of 117,061 properties for sale in the month to 10 September, to discover that average asking prices had fallen £7,255 since June. Meanwhile, the number of new sellers fell to 23,000 a week, the lowest level since January.

The survey is slightly at odds with an index of price expectations compiled last week by Markit for estate agents Knight Frank which suggested prices would increase in the next 12 months.

But today's figures confirm last week's Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors research which showed that house sales dropped in August to their lowest level in more than two years.

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said that one of the reasons why the market lacks momentum is that prospective buyers do not feel any urgency to make an offer and conclude a purchase.

But he warned that as the average time a property is on the market for 94 days, buyers need to move fast to complete before Christmas in 98 days' time.

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