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Sprightly Start to 2013 but 'Old Hands' Support the Market

LONDON, February 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Rightmove's February House Price Index finds that there are signs of improvement in the health of the property market. At £235,741 the average property asking price is the second highest ever seen in the month of February, just £2,115 shy of the February record set in 2008 prior to the collapse of Lehman Brothers. There are also encouraging signs of life among home-movers too as the Rightmove website recorded its busiest ever month in January. However, Rightmove research indicates that those most likely to buy and sell in 2013 are the 'old hands' with greater access to equity and finance, who have the confidence and the will to move.

Miles Shipside, director and housing market analyst at Rightmove comments: "There has been a sprightly start to 2013 and, while market activity remains patchy across locations and property type, some estate agents are reporting their busiest new year since the onset of the credit-crunch. While encouraging, it's far too early to pop the champagne corks as certain sectors will remain on ice until the return of wider-spread mortgage availability. However, our research suggests that with age comes experience and, more importantly, equity, and it's these old hands that seem most confident to plan a move this year."

With the proportion of those intending to buy for the first-time making up just 22% of all prospective buyers in 2013, the main activity is concentrated on those who have bought before. 29% state they are buying for the second time, while for 49% this will be at least their third purchase. Among sellers, the two most active age ranges are the 45 to 54 bracket - making up 25% of those planning to put their properties on the market in 2013 - and the 55 to 64 year olds who add another 30%. Those aged over 65 contribute a further 16%, leaving just 29% of intending sellers aged under 45.

Shipside adds: "The experienced 'old hands' who have built up equity through previous properties are at an advantage as they can raise the substantial deposits required by lenders. Those who bought thirty to forty years ago reaped the rewards of several price booms and many are now of an age where they wish to downsize, release equity and reduce their outgoings."

Rightmove Press Office

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