June 17 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. home sellers raised asking prices for a sixth consecutive month, pushing average values above 250,000 pounds ($392,000) for the first time.
Prices sought rose 1.2 percent in June to an average 252,798 pounds, property-website operator Rightmove said in a report today. The biggest increase in the year so far has been in the southeast, where asking prices have risen 14.8 percent.
The report is the latest to show strength in the housing market, after Acadametrics and LSL Prpoerty Services Plc said last week prices rose to a record. Government measures to unblock credit markets have helped a rally broaden from London, where prices reached another record, Rightmove said.
“These increases, along with reports from agents and developers of a pickup in transactions, suggest a wider and more sustainable recovery as the price buoyancy of the London market shows signs of spreading across the country,” the report said.
Prices are up 2.7 percent from a year earlier, today’s report shows. Of the 10 regions tracked by Rightmove, six showed increases, led by a 1.7 percent gain in the northwest. The biggest decline was in East Anglia, where asking prices dropped 0.8 percent.
The 1.1 percent gain in the capital took average prices to 515,243 pounds. The biggest increase in London was in Camden, where prices rose 4.9 percent from May to an average 1.1 million pounds.
In England and Wales, asking prices rose 10.4 percent in the first six months of the year. All regions showed gains, with the smallest posted by the East Midlands, at 5.8 percent. London increased 10.9 percent.
Bank of England markets director Paul Fisher said last week that a shortage of supply in the housing market is helping keep prices high, and that what’s needed for the market is a pickup in transactions.
“I do have some concerns that the level of real house prices is still high,” he said in a speech in London last week. “The best form of adjustment would really be to have more real wage growth than excessive house price growth and bring down the cost of housing that way.”
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Bank of England Governor Mervyn King last year announced a Funding for Lending plan to give banks that improve lending cheap access to finance. Data so far show that net lending still hasn’t turned positive, though some mortgage rates have dropped.
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