In Brief

‘Housing boom’ prompts £2,500 jump in asking prices

Amid fresh optimism analysts warn Brexit negotiations could reverse trend

Housing; property; estate agents

Britain’s property market is enjoying a boom with asking prices hopping up by more than £2,500 over the past month alone, according to new data.

Rightmove, Britain’s biggest property portal, said the average asking price for a home rose to £309,399 in February, just £40 of an all-time record. It credits what it calls a “Boris bounce”.

Rightmove director, Miles Shipside, said: “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.”

However, The Guardian says Rightmove’s monthly figures are based on asking prices rather than sale prices, meaning many critics regard them as “far less reliable than Land Registry data”.

North London estate agent Jeremy Leaf told Share Cast: “Although Rightmove’s are asking not selling prices, confidence is clearly slowly returning but is fairly patchy while the market remains price-sensitive.”

Edward Heaton, a buying agent, warned that the trend could easily reverse as the realities of Brexit negotiations sink in during the months ahead.

He said: “I would expect any house price rises we’ve seen in January to flatten by the latter part of the year, as attention will inevitably turn to ‘deal or no deal’.”

He added that trade negotiations will “unavoidably affect market confidence”.

Earlier this month, fresh figures showed that new home starts, completions and sales were continuing to grow.

Following the biggest monthly price rise on record in January, it amounts to “the strongest evidence yet that London’s property market has turned a corner”, says Homes & Property, and confirms that buyers and sellers “have returned to the market in droves since Boris Johnson’s crushing election win”.

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