Four northern regions – the East Midlands, the North West, Wales and Yorkshire and the Humber – confirmed highest ever prices and to within £91 of a new record.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “More buoyant markets in the north and midlands are helping to nudge up prices due to the seemingly relentless strength of buyer demand.”
However, Rightmove said at the mid-point of 2019 new seller supply remains constrained nationally, down by an average of five per cent annually, although better performing northerly regions are driving and beating the national average.
The regions setting new price records are again all selling better than the national average, with Wales 0.2 per cent ahead of last year, Yorkshire & the Humber down by 1.9 per cent, the North West dropping off by 3.3 per cent, and the East Midlands down by 3.7 per cent.
Shipside adds: “The national market faces a range of challenges, with overall average asking prices barely changed from last year, and activity levels slightly lower. Some buyers are hesitant due to the long-drawn-out uncertainty of Brexit, and there is also a slight tightening of mortgage availability and stretched buyer affordability, especially when it comes to raising a deposit.
“There is however a marked north-south divide as all northern regions are selling better than those in the southern part of the UK.”
Shipside said: “To sell in these more difficult locations you have to undercut the asking prices of similar properties, and preferably have a well-finished and expertly marketed home that will all combine to stir hesitant buyer interest.”
London continues to suffer the impact of Brexit more than any other region with the price of newly-marketed property in London falling by an average of 0.4 per cent, or £2,709, this month.
The last rise at this time of year was back in June 2015, when London property prices were going up by six per cent a year, said Rightmove.
“Market conditions are very different now, negatively affected by the triple whammy of stretched buyer affordability, moving costs including stamp duty, and Brexit jitters. The annual rate is still in negative territory at – two per cent.”
Tomer Aboody, director of property lender MT Finance, said: “Once again, this data shows that the market is feeling confident, or at least people have decided that if they need or want to move, then now is the time to do so. Political uncertainty can only bring buyers and sellers to a standstill to a certain extent.
“What is a real positive is that the average house price is nearly at a record level, while the southern regions are down. This shows that it is the activity and demand in the northern regions which is pushing prices up, rather than already high-valued properties in London.”
Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, added: “Looking forward, it is clear some areas are more price-sensitive than others and Brexit is not a big issue everywhere. Nevertheless, political certainty will add to confidence and is likely to release more pent-up demand as buyers and sellers can’t sit on their hands indefinitely.”