In Brief

‘Boris bounce’ lifting UK house sales

Savills says ‘clear outcome’ of election boosted property sales

A “Boris bounce” has driven an increase in UK house sales since the December general election, according to a leading estate agent.

In a buoyant stock market update, estate agents Savills said: “In the UK, the effect of Brexit and political uncertainty suppressed market activity in both commercial and residential transactional markets until mid-December.

“The clear outcome of the general election prompted a strong close to the year as confidence to transact returned to the market.”

The agency's announcement, which sent shares soaring by 7%, also informed investors and analysts that it expects its 2019 full-year sales and profits to be at “the upper end of the board’s expectations”.

The agency, which was founded in 1855, added: “Increased political stability in the UK should maintain improved sentiment in real estate markets... Nevertheless, some caution may remain until the full impact of Brexit is better understood.”

Commentators have responded positively to the annoucement, with Numis analyst, Chris Millington, telling stocks-focused magazine Shares: “Savills has delivered results broadly in line with last year, which is better than expected and a great achievement in light of the volatile market backdrop.”

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The news comes days after it was revealed that a Chinese property tycoon has agreed to buy a 45-room mansion overlooking Hyde Park in London for more than £200m. On completion, the sale will become the most expensive house to be sold in the UK, the Daily Mail reports.

The Guardian adds that a “string of ultra-luxury home sales” have been signed following the Tory victory in December. A European family bought a house in central London for £65m, while a US client bought a £50m home in Chelsea.

Last month, experts predicted a “short-term uptick”, as foreign investors move to buy property before the pound rises further and before a 3% surcharge on overseas buyers is announced in a new year Budget, says the paper.

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