House prices for the first eight months of this year have gone through the roof, with the average price of a single family home hitting the $1,845,000 mark.

The record high represents a 28 per jump in sales for the same period last year, when the average home was $1,435,000.

But Susan Thompson, agency manager for Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty, described the new figure as "a blip", that could be attributed to the sale of more high-end homes during the period.

She predicted the average price of a single family home "will go down dramatically" by the end of the year with sales of properties at the lower end of the scale.

Condo prices, on the other hand, were easier on the budget, with average sale prices for the period dropping to $840,000, down from an average of $895,000 for the same period last year.

Ms. Thompson said condo prices were fairly stable and the market was brisk, with 42 per cent more condos being snapped up for the year to date.

"Right now there is a high inventory of condos being placed on the market. People are seeing the benefits of condo ownership," she said, adding that many homeowners no longer want to spend their weekends cutting grass and painting roofs.

"Bermudians are now embracing the concept of condo living," she said.

The figures, which Ms. Thompson compiled from public records, are for house and condo sales island-wide. All property transactions are subject to Government stamp duty and have to be registered with the Office of the Registry General. She also said there is a three-month lag on transactions filed at the office.

"It's the best snapshot we can give you at this point in time," she said.

Ms. Thompson attributed the jump in prices of single-family homes to the sale of five properties at $3,500,000 and over for the period. That was two more than the three properties in the same price category that sold during the same period last year.

Explaining why she expected the average price of single-family homes to even out by the end of the year, she said one house recently sold for $850,000 and another went for even lower than that.

Rents have jumped as well, from an average of $4,555 to $5,300, but that's only for Coldwell Banker's own listings

There is no database for rentals island-wide, Ms Thompson said.

And she said the properties that go through her agency tend to be executive rentals.

"There is such a demand for studios and one bedroom apartments people don't go to agencies," she said.