Asking prices increased by £3,432 on average in October compared with the previous month, new figures suggest.
According to the latest index from property site Rightmove, the hike is the largest shift seen at this time of year since the 1.4 per cent rise seen in 2014.
Across England and Wales, the average price tag on a home now stands at £313,435 – a 1.1 per cent increase compared with September.
The property website said that while it has recorded an increase in October every year since it started back in 2001, this month’s upswing is the biggest since a 1.4 per cent rise in October 2014.
Property prices in Britain have increased at a record rate, up by an average of 1.1 per cent from September to October
In one London borough, Kensington and Chelsea, house prices surged by 14.3 per cent, taking the average sale price up from £1,845,692 to £2,109,574. However, the rise comes after considerable drops in asking prices in recent months.
Experts from Rightmove highlight that the rises could make it harder to push through sales before Christmas, especially with a 3.1 per cent increase in new seller numbers compared to this time last year.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove’s director and housing market analyst said sellers who can undercut the average 1.1 per cent rise in asking prices may stand a better chance of finding a buyer before the New Year, ‘especially if they are in one of the more active parts of the market’.
The average time from first advertising on Rightmove to being marked as sale agreed by an estate agent is 63 days with Christmas now some 69 days away.
However, national averages mask many regional and sector variations.
The properties that are moving the quickest are in the second stepper property sector, those with three or four bedrooms except four bedroom detached, where the average time taken to find a buyer is 60 days.
Typical first-time-buyer type properties, with two bedrooms or fewer, also just undercut the average with time to sell at 62 days.
Shipside observes: ‘Whilst affordability is stretched, it is still countered by the motivation to own a home rather than rent, or the need for extra space to house a growing family.
‘Sellers looking to find a buyer before Christmas have a head start if they are selling a property in these two mass-market sectors, as that is where there is the greatest demand.’
The average time from first advertising on Rightmove to being marked as sale agreed by an estate agent is 63 days with Christmas now some 69 days away
Tipping the balance: Experts from Rightmove highlight that the rises could make it harder to push through sales before Christmas, especially with a 3.1 per cent increase in new seller numbers compared to this time last year
The toughest market at present is the sector made up of properties with five bedrooms or more with four bedrooms detached, with this ‘top of the ladder’ category taking a current average marketing time of 76 days.
The extra challenge to sell these larger properties is especially noticeable in London, where the average time to find a buyer is now 86 days in this sector.
This longer time to sell London’s upper-end properties is having an effect on overall market activity in London with the number of sales agreed compared to the same period a year ago being down by 9.0 per cent, more than any other region.
In one London borough, Kensington and Chelsea, property prices surged by 14.3 per cent, taking the average sale price up from £1,845,692 to £2,109,574
It is regions in the southern half of the country that are dipping most with an average of 7.9 per cent lower sales being agreed than this time a year ago, whilst the northern half performs somewhat better with a fall of only 3.0 per cent.
For the year as a whole, however, 2017 still remains ahead of 2016 on sales agreed numbers, with the year to date being 1.1 per cent ahead of the previous year.
Shipside concludes: ‘Sales agreed numbers are holding up better in the north, whilst a common factor throughout the country is the lower and middle market sectors being the most active.
‘However, where property prices have far outstripped buyers’ wages, and consequently their affordability, sellers will either have to be more tempting with their asking prices or outscore other properties with extra desirable features.’
‘Get that right and it will hopefully mean the present of a successful sale for Christmas and the gift of a new home in the New Year.
We are seeing more and more regional differences in the property market, so selecting an agent with detailed knowledge of your area is key to success
Chris Chapman, managing director at Andrews Estate Agents
‘Those homeowners who need to do some work to their home to make it more attractive to potential buyers should get ready now in time for marketing in January.’
Chris Chapman, managing director at Andrews Estate Agents, said that his agents have been seeing similar lead times as Rightmove to secure buyers.
He added: ‘The key with the current market is correctly priced property, which is all about using an experienced agent.
‘We are seeing more and more regional differences in the property market, so selecting an agent with detailed knowledge of your area is key to success.’
Another report released by LSL Property Services shows that the average house price in England and Wales came out at £297,287 in September, up £3,890 on the same month last year.
It noted that the East of England is still the strongest growing region, helped by strong performance in the likes of Bedfordshire (up 9.3 per cent annually).
Growth in the south west has also narrowed the gap with the two strongest growing areas including Poole, up 10.5 per cent annually, and Bournemouth, up 9.9 per cent.
Both coastal areas have apparently benefited from strong sales of detached properties over the summer.
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