UK house prices near record high in post-election boom

17 February 2020

There has been a surge in sales since the election, with price records set to be broken this spring

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UK house prices are at a near-record level after the market was boosted by a post-election bounce, according to property website Rightmove.

Rightmove says the average price of property coming to market rose by 0.8%, or £2,589, in February, just £40 short of a new all-time high.

On an annual basis prices rose by 2.9%, taking the average asking price up to £309,399.

There was a slowdown in the housing market towards the end of last year due to the election and Brexit uncertainty.

Upwards price pressure is being driven by a post-election release of pent-up housing demand and we are likely to see a number of new price records in the coming months, the report says.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, says: “There is a boom in buyer activity outstripping the rise in the number of new sellers, which we expect to lead to a series of new price records starting next month.

“The average price of newly-marketed property is just £40 below its all-time high from June 2018, with the typically busy spring market still to come.

“This means that spring buyers are likely to be faced with the highest average asking prices ever seen in Britain. Buyers who had been hesitating and waiting for the greater political certainty following the election outcome may be paying a higher price, but they can now jump into the spring market with renewed confidence.”

The findings are the latest to suggest that the UK housing market is enjoying a post-election boom.

Annual house prices rose by 1.9% in January – up from 1.4% the previous month, according to the latest Nationwide House Price Index.

Meanwhile, Halifax says that house price growth is at 4.1%, the highest in two years.

Regional trends

Rightmove says that all regions in the UK saw an upswing in monthly house price growth in February, except the East Midlands, where prices dropped 0.5%.

Yorkshire and Humber saw the biggest monthly price rise at 3.5%, followed by Wales at 3.4%.

The average property price in London went up by 2.7%, while prices went up in the South East by 1%.

UK house prices in February

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Lucian Cook, head of Savills residential research, says: “Since the election we’ve certainly seen a significant uptick in new buyer demand in the prime market which creates a real opportunity for sellers while stock for sale remains relatively low.

“Increased confidence is translating into increased activity, both in the prime market and across the wider market as a whole. It is clear that the market remains largely dictated by sentiment. Our own agents are reporting that the vast majority of buyers remain unwilling to increase their budgets.

“Accordingly, our advice remains that sellers need to remain pragmatic on price, particularly given some of the uncertainty around an impending budget, the first of the new Government."

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