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UK property asking prices jump by record 2.3% m/m at turn of year - Rightmove

Mon, 20th Jan 2020 00:01

LONDON, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Asking prices for British houses
put on sale in the five weeks to Jan. 11 rose by a record amount
for the time of year, property website Rightmove said on Monday,
adding to signs of a post-election bounce in consumer and
business confidence.

Britain's Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and major
mortgage lender Halifax have both reported
stronger-than-expected housing market activity since Prime
Minister Boris Johnson's election victory on Dec. 12.

Business surveys from Deloitte and IHS Markit have also
perked up, as the election result ensures there will be a smooth
departure from the European Union on Jan. 31 and no industry
renationalisation by the opposition Labour Party.

Rightmove said average asking prices of property marketed
between Dec. 8 and Jan. 11 jumped 2.3% in monthly terms, the
biggest increase for that period since the survey started in
2002.

Prices were up 2.7% compared with the same period a year
earlier, marking the strongest growth since July 2017.

"There now seems to be a release of this pent-up demand,"
Rightmove director Miles Shipside said. "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."

Asking prices, which are not seasonally adjusted, rose by
0.8% year-on-year in December's release.

Britain's housing market has slowed since June 2016's Brexit
referendum, especially in London and neighbouring areas, where
higher property taxes as well as concern about the impact of
Brexit on the region's economy hurt demand.

There had been some signs of a pick-up in the housing market
before the election.

Official data for November showed a 2.2% rise in house
prices across Britain, the largest increase in a year, and
Halifax said prices rose 4.0% in the 12 months to December,
bolstered by the biggest monthly rise in almost 13 years.

But the broader economic picture in the run-up to election
was downbeat, with GDP growth in the 12 months to November the
slowest since 2012 at just 0.6%, and more Bank of England
officials are considering cutting interest rates.
(Reporting by David Milliken, editing by Andy Bruce)

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