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News: Record month of house price rises

Average asking prices for homes in England and Wales rose at their fastest annual pace in more than a year in the period from early June to early July, driven by strong southern demand, Rightmove revealed today.

Over the last four weeks the average asking price for a home in England and Wales increased £6,137 or 2.9% to £217,580.

The property market website has been monitoring house prices since August 2001, and has never recorded a bigger rise in house prices over four weeks.

This price rise was driven by rises in the south of England, and means house prices are now 10.6% higher than they were in the same month last year.

It was the first time annual growth has hit double digits for 16 months, and well up on the year-on-year growth rate of 6.4% recorded for the preceding four weeks.

The firm said high levels of demand in the south were continuing to outstrip supply, leading to prices in the South East surging ahead by an average of £12,000 during the four weeks.

The figures are in contrast to other indices for June. Halifax said earlier this month that house prices fell 1.2% on the month in June. Righmove's figures are for asking prices, but that means they are probably the most up-to-date.

Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, said: "There are always fewer new instructions as we enter the summer months, but this year we have not seen a corresponding fall in the number of buyers. Consequently, sellers are asking for more and getting it, especially in the south."

"The last month has seen the biggest rise in nearly five years, but it is skewed by the increases in the southern half of the country, particularly the South East where prices rocketed by over £12,000."

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