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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Strong December growth points to buoyant 2016

The housing market is set for its strongest December since 2006 and next year should be equally buoyant, according to Rightmove.

Asking prices usually dip in December but this year's drop of -1.1% or £3,120 is the lowest since 2006.

This pushes up the 2015 annual price growth for properties coming to market from 6.2% to 7.4%, adding almost £20,000 to the average property.

Prices will rise another 6% next year as the stark imbalance between supply and demand outweighs increasingly stretched affordability and extra stamp duty on the buy-to-let sector, the property portal said.

Rightmove also predicted rising demand and prices in more affordable cities such as Leeds, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Manchester, as highly-skilled workers choose to leave London for buoyant city regions.

It advised first-time sellers and financially-stretched landlords to sell before April's buy-to-le stamp duty changes, while first-time buyers may want to wait until after that date for a better deal.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director, said: “Whilst a fall is the norm at this time of year, this is December’s best post-financial-crash performance, signalling another round of price rises in 2016.

“Despite the shortage of suitable stock in many parts of the market, demand for housing is on the up."

“Although the average price of property coming to market is already up by a hefty 7.4% compared to a year ago, Rightmove forecasts that prices will reach and breach new records next year.

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