The UK’s property market has experienced a notable surge, with average asking prices climbing by 1.5% in March, reaching £368,118. This increase, revealed by the latest data from Rightmove, is driven by an 8% surge in buyer demand and a 13% rise in sales agreed compared to this time last year.

March’s price hike marks the most significant increase recorded by Rightmove in the past 10 months, far surpassing the average 1% rise seen over the previous 22 years for the same period.

Nationally, the typical asking price has soared by £13,000 since December, although it still remains £4,776 below its peak in May 2023. Notably, in Yorkshire and the Humber, asking prices have surged by 2.4% year on year.

Patrick McCutcheon, head of residential at Dacre, Son & Hartley, which has 20 offices in West and North Yorkshire, said: “The positive start to the year for the housing market is continuing and we expect to see more property transactions in Yorkshire in 2024 compared to last year.

“However, the market is still sensitive to pricing and external events. Properties that are priced attractively will sell quickly, but buyers who insist on being too optimistic with their price expectations should take the advice of an experienced, local estate agent on board, as this can really be beneficial in delivering a sale.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property science, commented: “March is typically a strong month for asking price growth, as both buyer and seller activity levels rise and the spring selling season gets underway. However, the stronger-than-usual price growth this March indicates that new sellers are feeling much more confident, with some perhaps being over-optimistic, that there is enough buyer activity and affordability in their local market to achieve a higher price.

“Despite the above average price increases in this opening three months of the year, asking prices are still £4,776 below their peak in May 2023. For those who can afford to buy and have yet to take action to move this year, this may provide a window of opportunity to buy as we now seem to be past the bottom of the market. While some sellers are still being over-optimistic with their pricing expectations, there are also more sellers who are aware of the need to be negotiable and realistic, with elevated interest rates compared to recent years still stretching affordability for many buyers.

“It’s been a positive first three months of the year for the market and better than many anticipated. However, we know from last year how quickly the picture can change with some negative economic news or surprises, evidenced in Rightmove’s data which captured the immediate buyer reaction to the lack of major housing initiatives in the Spring Budget. Sellers are right to feel more confident and optimistic this year, but buyer affordability remains stretched and higher mortgage rates are an ongoing challenge. With the market still sensitive to pricing and external events, some caution and willingness to negotiate is advised for sellers who are keen to find a buyer in the spring market.”

Dacre, Son & Hartley was founded more than 200 years ago and is Yorkshire’s largest independent estate agent with 20 offices across North and West Yorkshire.