It was widely anticipated that 2020 would be yet another fantastic year for the UK property market – and the latest Rightmove House Price Index confirms this.
The report shows that result of the 2019 general election has caused the largest rise in asking prices ever recorded at this time of year.
In the period between 8thDecember 2019 and 11th January 2020, asking prices for homes new to the market rose by 2.3%. This equates to an average increase of £6,785 compared to the previous period, and bodes extremely well for the rest of the year ahead.
Likewise, there have been approximately 1.3 million buyer enquiries made through Rightmove since last year’s election, representing a year-on-year increase of 15%. Sales are also up 7.4% compared to this time last year.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “These statistics seem to indicate that many buyers and sellers feel that the election result gives a window of stability. There now seems to be a release of pent-up demand.
“Whilst a substantial rise is the norm in January, buoyed by the start of a new year, this is the biggest new-year price surge that we have ever recorded.”
Another positive feature of the current market is the higher than normal percentage of first-time buyers.
On this, Shipside adds: “First-time-buyer activity has remained strong, buoyed by cheap interest rates and the high costs of renting. The downside of this high demand is upwards price pressure, with the average price of typical first-time-buyer property hitting a new record high. However, the annual rate of increase remains fairly modest at 1.6%, less than the rate of growth in average earnings, so affordability has actually improved a little for first-time buyers.”
The optimism from Rightmove is mirrored by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) which announced in January that sales expectations among its members have improved noticeably, with almost a third expecting an increase in activity over the next three months. As with the Rightmove data, this upturn is credited to the outcome of the 2019 election.
Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at RICS, said: “the sales expectations indicators clearly point to the prospect of a more upbeat trend in transactions emerging, with potential purchasers being more comfortable in following through on initial enquiries.”
It is fair to say that confidence is coursing through the housing market, and we are likely to see an unusually active spring market – making this the perfect time to buy and get the best deal. If you are interested in finding out more about our available off-plan developments, please click here.