The property market has made a bright start to 2016 with the average home coming to market priced £1,500 higher than last month.
This is the second-best new year start since 2007, according to positive new figures from Rightmove, which contrast markedly with the disastrous stock market opening to the year.
The property portal's snapshot for the first week of 2016 also saw a surge in demand, with visits up 21% year-on-year.
Supply improved as well, with a 6.6% year-on-year jump in number of newly-marketed properties to the highest January level since 2007.
First-time buyer prices crept up by just 0.1%, or £209, which suggests that impending stamp duty levy could be having a calming influence sooner than expected
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said the figures promised a strong year ahead.
“Upwards price pressure remains, with the second-highest rise seen at this time of year for nine years."
The early snapshot of home-hunter visits showed a rise of 21% on the same period last year to 27.8 million visits, suggesting that demand is holding up.
Shipside said: “Encouragingly for first-time buyers there’s more fresh choice with more property coming to market in their target sector.
“With their asking prices pretty much the same as a month ago, perhaps the knock-on effects of the more punitive landlord tax regime have arrived early and they now face a dilemma over whether to buy now or wait to see if prices drop in this sector over the next few months.”
While the 0.5% rise in new seller asking prices is lower than the 1.4% recorded in last January’s report, it is higher than every other January since 2007, before the credit crunch began.