Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Asking prices for London homes rose to close to a record in February, helping push national values the most in almost a decade, Rightmove Plc said.
Average asking prices in the U.K. capital rose 2.5 percent from January to 449,252 pounds ($710,300), less than 1,000 pounds below the record reached in October, the operator of Britain’s biggest property website said in a report today. Prices in England and Wales rose 4.1 percent on the month, the most since April 2002.
“Confidence in bricks and mortar in the capital seems set to continue, with ‘seller-power’ twice as strong in London compared to the rest of the U.K.,” Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, said in a statement. “Upwards price- pressure is likely to be maintained in 2012.” [...]
The number of new property listings in London fell 9 percent in January from a year earlier, Rightmove said. This is an “early indication that shortage of sellers and upwards price pressure will again feature in 2012,” it said.
Nationally, home prices rose 1.4 percent in January from a year earlier to an average 233,252 pounds. In London, the annual price increase was 4.3 percent.
The London districts of Richmond-upon-Thames, Kingston- upon-Thames and Wandsworth recorded the largest monthly increases in asking prices within the capital, Rightmove said.
Nationally, all 10 regions of England and Wales tracked by the company showed asking prices gained. The southeast led the increase, up 6.9 percent.About the shortage, I said two days ago: "Shortage of property? Right? Well, Findaproperty.co.uk lists 918,441 properties for sale and rent from 13,586 estate agents. Close to 1 million properties on the market, for a country with about 55 million inhabitants. Does that sounds like shortage? " and things haven't changed.
But the fact that Olympics in London might be driving people to reach an even higher level of speculation is not to be ignored.