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Rightmove March House Price Index - Momentum Grows

LONDON, March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Rightmove's March House Price Index finds that momentum continues to build in the housing market with several key indicators setting new post-credit-crunch milestones. The net result is that, as we enter the spring market, new sellers' asking prices are the highest ever recorded in the month of March at £239,710.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, comments: "In today's turbulent world where economic crises seem more likely to re-appear 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. Even those who truly believe that the market has turned a corner may be unable to do anything about it due to lenders' cautious risk profiling, a significant factor limiting the speed and strength of the recovery. However, with new sellers asking more than ever before as we enter the traditionally busy spring market and an expectation among home-movers of price stability or growth, there is now a bedrock upon which confidence and momentum appear to be building."

A further Rightmove Consumer Confidence Survey of more than 40,000 respondents shows that 60% expect prices to be "more or less the same" in a year's time and a further 23% believe prices will be higher. Only around one in nine (11%) expect prices to be lower.

Shipside comments: "Positive sentiment on the future direction of property prices is a vital element in motivating more people to buy including those looking to trade-up. If they feel confident that prices aren't going to drop, some will take the plunge, while those who are predicting price rises often judge it wise to act sooner rather than later if they perceive delaying will mean they pay more. Whilst outlooks on property prices differ and remain patchy according to location and property type, overall there appears to be an upturn in confidence."

In spite of a 12% month-on-month increase in new seller numbers, unsold stock per estate agency branch has remained little changed, up from 64 properties last month to 65 this. This suggests an increase in the number of properties being sold and removed from active marketing. This bodes well for transaction numbers in 2013. With March's average time on the market also falling from 90 days last year to 80 days this, property appears to be finding buyers more quickly.

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