Optimism returns to housing market in post-election bounce

22-1-2020

The housing market is springing into life after December’s election result delivered much-needed stability for home-movers, new Rightmove data has revealed.

There has been a 2.3% surge in the price of property being listed for sale, the largest monthly rise we have ever recorded at this time of year, with many signs pointing to an active spring market ahead.

Commenting on this renewed level of optimism, Rightmove’s property expert Miles Shipside said: “These statistics 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.”

In the four week period from 13th December to 9th January, immediately after the election, enquiries to estate agents were up by 12% compared to the same period a year ago. This then led to a 7.1% increase in the number of sales agreed over the same period.

This month’s 2.3% rise in new seller asking prices is the largest that Rightmove has recorded at this time of year since we started our House Price Index in 2002. The previous highest January rise was the 2.2% recorded in January 2015. This has helped to push the annual rate of increase to 2.7%, the highest level since July 2017.

Shipside added: “While there may well be more twists and turns to come in the Brexit saga, there is now an opportunity to get your property on the market for a spring move unaffected by Brexit deadlines.

“For those who can afford to move and have been putting it off, now would appear to be a good time to get a view from a local estate agent on their property’s value and a mortgage quote for the great fixed-rate deals that are currently available.”

Incidentally, first-time buyers face all-time highs for the price of properties in their favoured sector. Newly-marketed homes with two bedrooms or fewer now have a national average asking price of £193,103.

Mark Manning, managing director of Yorkshire-based Manning Stainton, said: “There is renewed optimism because the political situation is seemingly settled; there’s a clear path forward where before there was uncertainty.

“We didn’t really see much buyer urgency throughout 2019 and we desperately needed new listings, but then in December just gone, we sold more properties than in any other December since 2004, which was huge. We’ve now seen a 15% increase in home-owners looking to sell and things are picking up.”  

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