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Housing market enjoys Boris boost as prices rise at record rate

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Mon 20 Jan 2020

Housing market enjoys Boris boost as prices rise at record rate

New evidence that the housing market has been boosted by Boris Johnson’s emphatic election victory has emerged in a survey that suggests property prices have started to increase at a record rate.

House prices have risen by 2.3 per cent since the general election on December 12, adding £6,785 to the value of the average home, according to Rightmove, the property search website, which reckons that the average asking price now stands at £306,810. It is the largest monthly price rise for this time of year that Rightmove has recorded since it began its surveys in 2002.

The findings chime with those of other recent indicators. This month Halifax said that house prices had risen by 1.7 per cent in December. Nationwide recorded a 0.1 per cent growth in prices over the same month.

Optimism sparked by the Conservatives winning a comfortable majority in the House of Commons and its prospective benefit to the economy has released a wave of pent-up demand, Rightmove said. The number of agreed sales has risen as interested buyers tie up deals as swiftly as possible to get in ahead of a possible rush.

Miles Shipside, a director and housing market analyst at Rightmove, said that the company’s findings “seem to indicate that many buyers and sellers feel that the election result gives a window of stability.

“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.”

Rightmove carried out its survey based on asking prices between December 13 and January 15. Its survey, which it claims covers 95 per cent of the market, tends to identify price trends early as it is based on the starting point of the sales process rather than when a mortgage is applied for. More than 1.3 million potential buyers have made inquiries about properties since the election, 15 per cent higher than the same period a year ago, Rightmove said, with agreed sales up by 7.4 per cent.

Data being published today by Lonres, a property analyst, showed that buyers returned to prime central London during the final three months of the year, pushing up the level of agreed deals by 34 per cent against the same period the previous year.