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Since December’s general election UK house prices have risen at the fastest rate on record for the time of year, according to research by online property firm Rightmove.
The average price of properties coming on to the market rose by 2.3 per cent, the biggest rise for the period since the website started its house price index in 2002. Nearly 65,000 UK properties were marketed over the month, with an average asking price of £306,810, The Guardian newspaper reports.
Commenting on the findings, 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. There now seems to be a release of this pent-up demand, which suggests we are in store for an active spring market.
“While there may well be more twists and turns to come in the Brexit saga, there is now an opportunity for sellers to get their property on the market for a spring move unaffected by Brexit deadlines.”
The price rise also means first-time buyers face record prices as they seek to purchase their first home, with the average property with two bedrooms or fewer now commanding an average national asking price of £193,103.
Shipside added: “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 per cent, less than the rate of growth in average earnings, so affordability has actually improved a little for first-time buyers.”