Property website Rightmove has published its latest House Price Index, for June 2013 and it shows that the average asking price for a property coming on to the market for the first time is now over £250,000. Rightmove found that prices rose by 1.2% in June and this makes it the sixth month in a row that prices have gone up.

In London the average asking price is now over half a million pounds. The South East of England has seen some very strong growth with an increase of nearly 15% over the first six months of 2013. Rightmove says that estate agents and developers are reporting an increase in transactions in many parts of the country. If you are a landlord insurance client thinking about expanding your buy to let portfolio you may find more competition for the best properties than a year or so ago.

Rightmove believe that these are the main reasons behind the recent strength of the market:

• Consumer confidence. Rightmove say that more home-movers now appear willing and able to increase their financial commitments

• Increasing competition among lenders. This means lower interest rates and smaller deposits

• In real terms, national house prices have fallen. Rightmove say that while nominal asking prices are at record levels, if you adjust for inflation and exclude London, prices have actually fallen since 2008

Rightmove has seen considerable increase in the number of people using its website to look at properties for sale. More than six billion pages were viewed on Rightmove in the first five months of 2013- up by more than a fifth on the same period of 2012.

Websites like Rightmove are a great way to keep in touch with the property market. Local knowledge is one of the essential factors in building a buy to let portfolio. There is no substitute for getting out and about but a quick check on the property websites is time well spent.

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