House prices increase in March says Rightmove

House prices edged upwards in March, according to the latest Rightmove House Price Index, although activity is largely limited to the upper end of the market.

According to the company’s research, the need for larger deposits means that purchases are heavily focused on owners with equity already built up in their properties.

Meanwhile, first-time buyers are still finding it hard to get together the capital needed to cover a deposit on a new home.

In contrast, new construction activity is currently focused more on houses than on flats, at a ratio of 70:30 compared with half-and-half in 2009.

This further restricts first-time buyers’ options, Rightmove says, with fewer smaller homes coming on to the new-build market.

Overall, the monthly change in the average asking price in March reached 0.8 per cent, taking the full-year trend to 0.9 per cent.

Rightmove director Miles Shipside commented: “This month’s number of sellers, still handcuffed by a lack of equity, has managed to limp just ahead of the number of deposit-shackled buyers, but the market is still restrained by low transaction volumes and restricted liquidity.”

The Rightmove House Price Index is based on asking prices for residential property throughout the UK, with data extending back as far as August 2002.