22 Jan 2020
UK house prices increased at the fastest rate on record last month, as the housing market outlook for sellers was given a post-election boost, according to Rightmove.
The average price of properties entering the market hiked 2.3%, marking the biggest rise on record for that time of the year, since the property website began its house price index in 2002.
Almost 65,000 properties were put on the market over the month, with an average asking price of £306,810.
Rightmove’s director Miles Shipside said that the election result had opened a “window of stability” for potential movers, following a period of uncertainty brought about by the Brexit vote, which had fended off previous potential buyers.
“The housing market dislikes uncertainty, and the unsettled political outlook over the last three and a half years since the EU referendum caused some potential home movers to hesitate. There now seems to be a release of this pent-up demand, which suggests we are in store for an active spring market,” Shipside said.
“While there may well be more twists and turns to come in the Brexit saga, there is now an opportunity for sellers to get their property on the market for a spring move unaffected by Brexit deadlines.”
During the immediate period following the general election, between December 13 and January 15, the number of sales deals jumped 7.5% compared to the same time the year prior, according to Rightmove.
First-time buyers also had to face higher prices on the market. The median asking price for a property with two bedrooms or fewer now has a national average of £193,103, the property website revealed.
“First-time-buyer activity has remained strong, buoyed by cheap interest rates and the high costs of renting. The downside of this high demand is upwards price pressure, with the average price of typical first-time-buyer property hitting a new record high,” Shipside noted.
“However, the annual rate of increase remains fairly modest at 1.6%, less than the rate of growth in average earnings, so affordability has actually improved a little for first-time buyers.”