New record asking price for homes

Deposits remain a major problem for two thirds of potential homeowners

The average asking prices of homes coming onto the property market hit a new record high of £255,962 last month, according to Rightmove. This represents a rise of 1.6 per cent (3,998) compared to the previous last month and 6.8 per cent on the same time last year.

The previous high was £253,658  in July last year.  In total, Rightmove report.s 114,996 new properties were advertised in the last four weeks, up 8.7 per cent on last year

Prices in London are up by just over two per cent to £552,530 and jumped even higher in the North of England by 2.5 per cent, in Wales by 3.8 per cent and in the West Midlands by 3.9 per cent.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director said: "Another new record for the price of property coming to market in the capital will probably come as no surprise. However, what might surprise some people is that the last peak was achieved as long ago as October last year. Demand continues to outstrip supply in many areas and with the spring market approaching, further record highs are to be expected. Buyers seeking better value are pushing up demand and consequently prices in more affordable areas, causing a wave of new price peaks in areas before rolling on to the next cheaper location."

Meanwhile, deposits remain a major problem for two in three people looking to get onto the property ladder, according to mortgage insurance provider Genworth. It follows the announcement over the weekend that the Help to Buy scheme will be extended to 2020.

Its figures suggest that just under two thirds of would-be first-time buyers still cannot afford a deposit despite the return of 95 per cent mortgages under Help to Buy 2. Worryingly, it also indicates that another 19 per cent cannot afford the monthly mortgage payments for the home they are looking for.

Genworth's figures show that 17 per cent of homehunters are saving each month and putting aside an average of £393 a month for a deposit. Around five per cent expect to buy their first home in the next year while three quarters do not expect to do so before 2017.

Simon Crone, Genworth Vice President said: "We should be under no illusion that the problems confronting first time buyers will disappear overnight. Raising a deposit of 15 per cent or more is an insurmountable challenge not just for younger generations, but also for many in their thirties and forties who have been locked out of the property market for most of their adult lives."