In Brief

House prices rise – is this a ‘Boris bounce’?

Rightmove says there has been a record rise in UK prices

UK house prices rose over the last month at the fastest rate on record for the time of the year, according to data from Rightmove.

The Guardian says that as sellers “felt more confident about the outlook for the housing market after the general election,” the average price of properties coming on to the market jumped by 2.3%, the biggest leap for the period since Rightmove started its index in 2002.

In the immediate aftermath of the election, between 13 December and 15 January, the number of sales agreed increased by 7.5% compared with the same period a year earlier. The Times describes this as a “Boris bounce”.

Nearly 65,000 UK properties were marketed over the month, with an average asking price of £306,810. Estate Agent Today says there is “market fever” and Mortgage Introducer says “optimism and certainty” are back.

Miles Shipside, of Rightmove, said the housing market “dislikes uncertainty” but the election result had provided a “window of stability” for potential movers.

Estate agencies have also reported the trend. Mark Manning, managing director of Yorkshire agents Manning Stainton, told The Express: “We sold more properties than in any other December since 2004.”

Marc von Grundherr, a director at Benham and Reeves, in London, said: “There has been a dramatic Boris bounce, with real optimism among buyers still getting good value.”

However, the news also means that first-time buyers face record high prices to get on to the property ladder. The average property with two bedrooms or fewer now has a national average asking price of £193,103.

A separate survey being published today by property analyst LonRes found that buyers returned to prime central London during the final three months of the year, pushing up the level of agreed deals by 34% against the same period the previous year.

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