UK property market analysts and observers started the year with predictions of a price bounce on the back of the December general election result. It was thought that the greater Brexit clarity it provided would release pent up demand, and supply, from buyers and sellers who had been waiting for a less uncertain outlook before acting.
However, there was also caution that the most likely scenario would be a spluttering back to life for the property market, with real traction only taking hold later in the year or in 2021, after progress on post-Brexit trade deals become apparent. But the ‘Brexit Bounce’ or ‘Boris Bounce’, as it has also been referred to, seems to have taken hold much more quickly, and with more impact, than forecast. At least initially.
Property portal Rightmove has reported that average UK house prices have leapt 2.3% since the general election date of December 12th. That’s added £6785 to the value of the average asking price for a home in the UK, which has reached £306,810. The leap represents the largest monthly gain in property prices since Rightmove started to track prices in 2002.
Data from other actors in the housing market are in approximate alignment with the Rightmove figures. Halifax, the UK’s largest residential mortgage lender, said that house prices rose 1.7% in December. That figure only takes into consideration price rises up until the end of last year. Within that context, it is not difficult to imagine that another 0.5% could have been added over the first half of January. The Rightmove survey was based on asking prices between December 13th and January 15th.
Asking prices are not a completely accurate gauge of real price rises in the residential property market, as they are not always met. However, the number of agreed transactions has also leapt. However, the company claims to cover 95% of the market and has a track record of identifying price movement trends early, by focusing on the start of the selling and buying process. Rightmove director and housing market analyst Miles Shipside commented the data:
“Seems 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.”
Buyer enquiries are, says Rightmove, up 15% on the same period last year and agreed sales have risen by 7.4%.