Hometrack survey shows price increase for third consecutive month but warns demand beginning to fade

House prices rose for the third consecutive month in October as a shortage of properties on the market continued to push up values, according to the latest survey from Hometrack.

The average cost of a home in England and Wales rose by 0.2% to £156,400 last month. The average time a property took to sell also fell to 8.4 weeks and the proportion of sellers achieving their asking price rose to 92.9%, up from a low of 88.3% in February.

However, Hometrack warned there had been a “marked slowdown” in the speed at which new buyers were registering with agents and the pent-up demand that had been buoying the market was beginning to fade.

Richard Donnell, Hometrack's director of research, said: "The past six months have seen a continued improvement in housing market sentiment on the back of rising demand and a lack of housing for sale.

"Prices have firmed and the discount between sales and asking prices is back to the same level it was at the start of the credit crunch over two years ago. However, what is becoming increasingly clear from recent Hometrack surveys is a marked slowdown in the rate of growth in the volume of new buyers registering with agents."

He also flagged up significant regional variation, saying the price rises came from just 16% of the market, while prices in 84% of the country remained static.

The hightest rises came in London, where property costs jumped 0.4% in October, followed by the South-east and North-west where the increase was 0.2%. In the East Midlands and Wales, no change was seen.