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UK House Prices Rise To Record High, Rightmove Says


House prices in the UK rose to a new-record high in April, buoyed by London's strong performance amid lower supply, property website Rightmove said Monday.

Average asking prices for a property in the UK rose 2.9 percent month-on-month to a new record-high of 243,737 pounds in April. This surpassed previous record set nearly four years ago in May 2008 and prices have risen 0.5 percent since then.

The rise of 2.9 percent or 6,798 pounds this month is the highest recorded in the month of April since 2007 and followed a 1.6 percent increase in March.

Annually, new sellers' asking prices jumped 3.4 percent, faster than March's 2.2 percent increase.

This month's strong result was led by London, where prices rose 14.9 percent since the national peak in May 2008, just a few months before the collapse of Lehman Brothers. London prices rose 2.1 percent month-on-month to an all-time high of 464,944 pounds in April.

Rightmove said that both the "fresh-stock starved" London and South West regions set new records this month while the South East and East Anglia are just 0.3 percent and 1.1 percent off new record highs.

Nonetheless, it noted that the new national record should be seen against retail price inflation of 11.5 percent since May 2008. According to Rightmove, the prices are still down 9.9 percent in real terms over the period.

"From a national perspective, it has taken four years for new sellers to pitch their asking prices above their previous record. However, this is not a universal signal of a housing market recovery," Rightmove Director Miles Shipside said.

The report also noted that only 30 percent fewer properties were brought to market this month compared to April 2007, and 0.5 percent fewer than in April last year. Fresh property supply to London fell 5.5 percent annually.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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