• London Prime

Housing boom: ‘Boris bounce’ could see house prices hit record high this spring

HOUSE prices are expected to hit a new record high this spring, with owners facing the "best selling prospects for years". The average asking price for February stands at £309,399, up by 0.8 per cent, or £2,589 month on month, the property specialists Rightmove said.

This means typical prices are just £40 below the previous record high of £309,439, reached in June 2018. Experts said the market has been reinvigorated by the “Boris bounce”, meaning the end of Brexit uncertainty and dithering as Prime Minister Boris Johnson leads Britain out of the EU. Rightmove said there has been a boom in buyer demand, with traffic to its website hitting a new record of more than 152 million visits in January alone.

Other property websites have also reported surges in activity at the start of 2020.

Rightmove’s report said that as market momentum continues to build ahead of the spring moving season, a series of new price records is likely in the coming months.

Upwards price pressure is being driven by a post-General Election release of pent-up housing demand, it was said.

The report added that, while there is a long-awaited and welcome recovery in the number of new sellers coming to market, this is being ­outstripped by a surge in demand from buyers.

Rightmove director Miles Shipside said: “There is a boom in buyer activity outstripping the rise in the number of new sellers, which we expect to lead to a series of new price records starting next month.

“The average price of newly marketed property is just £40 below its all-time high from June 2018, with the typically busy spring market stillto come.

This means that spring buyers are likely to be faced with the highest average asking prices ever seen in Britain.

“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.

“After three years of Brexit uncertainty, dither and delay, many now seem to have the 2020 vision that this is the year to satisfy their pent-up housing needs.

“Owners coming to market this spring face the best selling prospects for several years, with good demand for the right properties at the right prices.”

Edward Heaton, founder and ­managing partner of Heaton & Partners property experts, said: “The hype of a ‘Boris bounce’, which was building for some time, immediately reinvigorated many of our clients’ ­purchasing plans.”

Lucian Cook, head of Savills residential research, said: “Increased confidence is translating into increased activity, both in the prime market and across the wider market as a whole.”

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