Miles Shipside, Director of Rightmove, said: “The New Year’s market has hit the ground running in many locations, continuing last year’s momentum and resulting in the price of property coming to the market hitting a new high” .
Rightmove also said the supply of new housing was improving, with a 5% rise of new builds compared with the previous year, with the supply of first-time buyer homes up nearly 10% . This has been driven by the government-backed Help-to-Buy scheme to encourage home ownership, by offering as much as a 40% interest-free loan against the value of the property .
The biggest increase was in London, where the average asking price surged by 10.5% over the past year . Rising prices are making buying a new home difficult for many Londoners, even with the government’s scheme, due to an income cap. Shipside said it “takes the price of many properties out of reach for average earners in London” .
Rightmove claims that 2016 could end up being “the year of the first-time buyer”, due to the increased supply of such properties, combined with low-interest rates and government initiatives .
Shipside said the increase in the smaller property types coming to market could be due to an increase of first-time sellers putting their homes on the market ahead of a stamp duty increase for buy-to-let investors in April . Demand could therefore subside along with prices shortly after.
 Telegraph. ‘House asking prices hit all-time high of £299,287’. telegraph.co.uk
 Independent. ‘House price average approaches record £300,000, Rightmove reveals’. independent.co.uk
 Bloomberg. ‘London house prices jump 5.4%, lcoking out first time buyers’. bloomberg.com
 City AM. ‘London house prices: Asking prices hit record high as concerns grow over help to buy eligibility’. cityam.com