By Daniel Hunter

According to the House Price Index house prices jumped sharply in February, with the average property seeing its highest monthly rise since 2002.

The 4.1% month-on-month increase took the typical asking price of a home on the market to £233,252.

“We’re seeing a strong ‘spring bounce’ in asking prices this year, but the ball is still a lot smaller than it was before the credit crunch as market volumes are constrained," Miles Shipside, director at Rightmove commented.

"The biggest jump in new sellers’ asking prices for nearly ten years indicates there is pricing power if you are selling the right type of property in the right place where enough potential buyers have access to funding. If your local market does not have those characteristics and your price-pump is based on little more than seasonal optimism and an estate agent’s hot air, then be prepared for buyer response to be a let-down.

"However, there are also indications that those who are able to buy but had previously lacked the confidence to take the plunge are of a more positive mindset this year. Perhaps some people are adjusting to the realities, opportunities and strange normality of a low volume but apparently stable property market”.

Surprisingly strong spring ‘price-pump’ by scarce sellers fuelled by cash-rich market sectors where demand exceeds supply, though also some evidence of increasing housing market confidence:

- More mortgage deals - number of products available with 10% deposit up a third on a year ago.

- Nationally five out of ten view property as a lower risk asset class, while six out of ten state they feel the current market favours buyers suggesting buyer bidding-power.

- Evidence of dormant buyers ‘springing back to life’ suggests some adjustment to the current volume-constrained but stable market as the new norm.

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