Signs of recovery in property market

 The property market is set to show a recovery in 2013 as a series of positive signals emerge from a national house price index published today.

The Rightmove Index measures trends in asking prices, search activity and inquiries, and all three are up on the same time last year. Asking prices have climbed 2 per cent – £4,617 – since November 2011, while search activity is up 20 per cent and inquiries up 11 per cent over the same time period.

The figures are published just a few days after the Bank of England's news that mortgage approvals climbed 9.2 per cent over the quarter.

The Index also shows that while new sellers dropped their asking price by 2.6 per cent, that was the least severe November fall for three years.

Miles Shipside, housing market analyst at Rightmove, said: "There are a number of positive trends that justify cautious optimism as the market enters its winter recess."

Last week the Markit House Price Sentiment Index indicated that households are more optimistic that the value of their home will rise over the next year than at any time since 2010.

Meanwhile figures from the Office of National Statistics revealed that UK house prices rose by 1.7 per cent in the 12 months to September.

However, the figures showed that London prices climbed by 5.2 per cent, confirming the continuing trend of a property value divide between the capital and the rest of the country.

The annual change in London recorded by Rightmove was 8.8 per cent, leaving the average property in the city worth £483,709.

"The market remains patchy, and national statistics are given a gloss by a buoyant London market," said Mt Shipside. "There's a two-speed market, with sellers in the capital seeing near double-digit price growth in a year while the average for everywhere else remains broadly flat."