Editor's Pick

New year boost for asking prices

Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

Asking prices rose 2.3% in the last month, as sellers’ confidence was strengthened by a jump in buyer enquiries

Average asking prices rose 2.3% (+£6,785) between December and January, according to Rightmove, the largely monthly rise it’s ever recorded at the start of the year.

The property portal also found that demand rose significantly, with over 1.3 million buyer enquiries since the General Election, up 15% compared to same period a year ago. This led to a 7.4% increase in the number of sales agreed over the same period.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director, 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. The early birds are on it, with over 1.3 million buyer enquiries to agents since the election, up 15% on the same period a year ago. Some buyers are even further ahead and have snapped up a property already, with the number of sales agreed up by 7.4% on this time last year.”

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

“The signs are there that the New Year is starting very quickly and we’ve come out of the blocks with quite a bit of life. We didn’t really see much buyer urgency throughout 2019 and we desperately needed new listings, but then in December, we sold more properties than in any other December since 2004, which was huge. We’ve now seen a 15% increase in homeowners looking to sell and things are picking up.”