U.K. House Sellers Boost Asking Prices as Buyer Inquiries Surge

Asking prices for U.K. homes rose at the quickest pace in five months in March as inquiries from potential buyers hit a record.

The property website Rightmove said the gains were fueled by a tax break on purchases and by restless homeowners looking for more space after three lockdowns over the past year. The figures add to evidence that the housing market has shrugged off the U.K.’s worst economic slump in three centuries.

The average value rose 0.8% from February to 321,064 pounds ($446,000), the data released on Monday show. It was 2.7% higher than a year ago. Demand exceeded supply by the biggest margin in at least a decade.

A shortage of available homes also helped to bolster prices. The number of potential buyers who inquired about each property climbed 34% from the same period a year ago, the property website said. Two thirds of properties listed with agents have already had a sale agreed.

“We now face a serious shortage of homes available for sale,” said Tim Bannister, director of property data at Rightmove.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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