LONDON (Reuters) – Asking prices for houses in Britain surged again in April but momentum in the housing market should slow as consumers are hit increasingly by the growing cost of living crisis, a survey showed on Monday.
Property search website Rightmove said asking prices rose by 1.6% this month, slowing slightly from a 1.7% rise in March. More than half of houses are currently selling at or above the asking price, the survey showed.
The report echoed other gauges that show Britain’s housing market retained much of its momentum in the first half of 2022, despite the phasing out of temporary tax breaks on property purchases in the second half of 2021.
But with household budgets being squeezed by high inflation and tax rises, Rightmove had doubts about whether the housing market can keep up its recent strength – even though there is scant sign of a slowdown now.
“While growing affordability constraints mean that this momentum is not sustainable for the longer term, the high demand from a large number of buyers chasing too few properties for sale has led to a spring price frenzy,” Rightmove managing director Tim Bannister said.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)