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Asking prices rise as house market confidence grows

Home sellers are finally growing in confidence, judging by a survey by Rightmove of more than 100,000 asking prices across the country.

The average asking price in the last month has risen 1.7 per cent to £239,710, the highest ever recorded in the survey for the month of March.

The previous March peak was in 2008, six months ahead of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the resultant banking crisis.

However, against the continuing uncertain economic background, confidence will still take some while to reach home buyers, warned Miles Shipside, Rightmove's market analyst.

"In today's turbulent world where economic crises seem more likely to reappear than disappear, any market upturn will take longer to build home-mover confidence to the point that it starts to feed through to actual transactions," he said.

The company's latest Consumer Confidence Survey, which questions more than 40,000 people, is reasonably positive, showing that 60 per cent expect prices to be more or less the same in a year's time, with 23 per cent believing prices will be higher. Only around one in nine expect prices to be lower, the data revealed.