House prices are continuing to soar across the country - but London is not rising as fast as other areas, with the gap between the capital and the North now at its narrowest for eight years.

The average price of a property coming on to the market this month hit a record £333,564, according to Rightmove, up 1.8 per cent on a previous high last month.

And while the typical London home is still 2.9 times more expensive than in the north of Britain, this is the smallest gap recorded by Rightmove since 2013. Prices in the capital have risen by just 0.2 per cent since the pandemic began, but Wales has seen a 13 per cent rise, the North West 11 per cent and Yorkshire and the Humber 10.5 per cent.

Mark Manning, of Yorkshire estate agent Manning Stainton , said he had seen a 'vast number of buyers from around the country, particularly the South'.

One in six homes is selling for more than the asking price as buyers scramble to complete deals before the end of the stamp duty holiday. The figure is the highest it has been for seven years, according to estate agents.

Mark Hayward, chief policy adviser at NAEA Propertymark, said the boom was being fuelled by the stamp duty holiday, which means buyers pay no tax on the first £500,000 of a property's value until June 30th, as well as post-lockdown demand for more spacious homes. He added, 'The imbalance of supply and demand means it's an extremely strong sellers' market. Properties are selling quickly and for over the asking price and this is something we expect will continue in the coming months.'

NAEA Propertymark's research found that 16 per cent of homes sold for more than their asking price in March, the highest figure since May 2014. Each property was found to have 13 buyers chasing after it on average.

The average number of sales agreed per estate agent branch last month was 12, which is also the highest for the month of March since 2007. And about 33 per cent sold for less than the original asking price, which is the lowest on record.

Campaigners have vowed to fight on after MPs failed to protect leaseholders from the crippling costs of the cladding scandal. They hit out at the 'indefensible' Fire Safety Bill, which leaves leaseholders liable to bills of up to £150,000 each for repairs.

It follows a parliamentary battle over who should pay to fix firetrap flats following the Grenfell disaster. Boris Johnson faced a major backlash over the bill. After several defeats in the Lords and two Tory rebellions in the Commons, it is now law. The bill means leaseholders are still legally liable for the cost of fixing unsafe cladding and other fire safety defects.

Campaign group End Our Cladding Scandal said: 'Yet again government has voted to punish leaseholders - also known as taxpayers and voters - for regulatory failings and dodgy developers who they allowed to prioritise profits over safety. We have the right to be angry. But the fight isn't over yet'.

More than than a million private flats are thought to be affected by safety defects identified after the 2017 Grenfell blaze in west London which claimed 72 lives.

Taxpayer funding was more than trebled in February to £5.1billion. but the cash is only for those living in buildings above 60ft with unsafe cladding. Ministers announced a loan scheme for smaller buildings, but hundreds of thousands of leaseholders may have to borrow up to £600 a year for repairs. Survivors' group Grenfell United said: 'The Government's position on this is indefensible.'

A Government spokesperson said ministers were prioritising the tallest blocks with the most dangerous cladding, but for lower-rise buildings the loan scheme would be capped at £50 a month.

Borrowers applying for a raft of new 95% mortgages will need squeaky clean credit histories, brokers warn.

Dozens of home loans, partially backed by the Treasury, are now available to buyers with a 5 pc deposit. Aaron Strutt, of broker firm Trinity Financial, says: 'To gat a 95 pc LTV mortgage, you're probably going to need a squeaky clean credit history. However, it is worth remembering that even if you get rejected by one lender, another still may take you on.'

Jane King, a mortgage advisor at Ash-Ridge, says: 'Most firms offering these 95 pc deals are High Street lenders, which are less likely to accept applicants with poorer credit histories. But if you have just one or two missed payments from three or four years ago, you may be ok.

Buyers looking to boost their credit scores quickly should make sure they are on the electoral role and that credit reports from agencies such as Experian are accurate. Misspelt names, addresses and incorrect dates of birth can negatively impact a credit score, but renters can also boost their ratings if they have kept up to date with payments to their landlord.

However, missing a mobile bill payment or a minimum credit card repayment could damage your score.

Nearly £150billion of house sales took place across the UK in the first 15 weeks of this year.

That represents almost double the value of homes sold subject to contract in the same period in 2020 and 2019, according to Zoopla.

The research also found that strong activity is reducing the supply of houses available. It said the total number of homes on the market and not yet under offer was around 30 per cent down in early April compared with average levels between 2017 and 2019.

Three and four bedroom houses have recorded the sharpest fall in supply.

Dartford Business Award

Customer Reviews

  • We are 100% satisfied and cannot recommend Fox Estates strongly enough. The team were extremely professional, friendly, and approachable from the minute we asked for a valuation right until completion. Their knowledge of the local area was spot on and made the difference on the sale of our house. We are grateful to Chris in particular for his attention to detail, responsiveness to emails and a willing pro-activeness to help keep things moving. I would not hesitate in recommending Fox Estates to my friends and family..

  • Chris Fox put my house on the market on June 13th and advised me to have an open house. 26 people viewed the property and I had 6 really good offers. By 3rd of August we had completed!Chris guided me through the sale with professionalism, integrity, friendliness and his extensive knowledge which can only come from spending 35 years doing a job he is still clearly passionate about.

  • Chris is very efficient and professional at all times. He made the sale of our property effortless and acted beyond the call of duty on our behalf.

  • During my career I have come across many estate agents and Chris really is a true professional, with the highest standards of integrity and professionalism I have seen. As well as having referred him to my own clients and had excellent feedback, I have personally used Chris to sell my property and I have been extremely impressed, and would recommend him to everyone.

  • I instructed Chris to sell my house and when he found a buyer the sale went through in just over 6 weeks. His service was excellent and I would recommended him to anyone. A few months later my mum instructed him to sell her house and again he found a buyer and the sale progressed to completion without a problem. Chris is very knowledgeable and professional and he will give you a very helpful, friendly and attentive service. If you are thinking about buying or selling I would suggest you give him a call

  • I employed Chris Fox to sell my parents home when my mother died last year. He handled the sales with professionalism and respect for my family. He was very eager to secure the right sale and was tenacious on our behalf. He kept us fully informed of all developments during the sale and achieved a very good outcome on our behalf. I would recommend Chris Fox wholeheartedly.


Read Our Google Reviews