There has been a sharp rise in asking prices this month as property investors continue to dominate the lower end of the market, cutting many first-time buyers off from homeownership as they struggle to raise large enough mortgages to cope with increasing prices, according to property website Rightmove.
In September, the average asking price for a residential property in England and Wales increased by 4% over the year and 0.7% month-on-month, said the Rightmove house price index, hitting £306,499.
But for properties with two bedrooms or less - the type of property often favoured by first-time buyers - the average asking price hit £194,977 after rising 3.3% over the month and 10.5% year-on-year. This is owed in part to the fact that many buy-to-let landlords concentrate on buying up smaller homes as a long-term investment.
Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: “The rising tide of prices is marooning more and more first-time buyers, out-stripping their ability to meet stricter lending criteria and afford the required deposits and monthly repayments.
“Increasing numbers are being cut off from home-ownership altogether and while schemes are in place to help, the additional demand they create is not matched by available and affordable supply.”
London recorded the largest monthly increase in asking prices in September, with a 1.9% rise taking the average price tag on a home there to £630,974.
The East Midlands saw the next biggest monthly increase, with a 1.3% hike pushing prices to £197,502 on average.
Wales saw the biggest monthly decrease in asking prices in September, with a 1.9% fall taking the average asking price to £177,077.
Asking prices in the South West, the West Midlands and the North East were flat month-on-month, while they increased in the South East and East Anglia and dipped in Yorkshire and the Humber and the North West.
“The market continues to shake off the effect of post-Brexit vote uncertainty, though more so in the lower end sector,” Shipside added.