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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

House prices leap over £8,000 in a month

The price of property coming to market has leapt by 2.90% this month pushing the average asking price to within a whisker of £300,000.

The average asking price rose by £8,324, a rise of almost 50% over the previous record set in October 2015 of £5,586.

Housing demand is higher than ever as property portal Rightmove reports traffic at record levels, with visits up nearly 20% year-on-year in January.

There has been a slight improvement in supply with an encouraging 5% uplift in new properties coming to the market year-on-year.

This means there is now in the highest total number of newly-listed properties at this time of year since the 2008 credit crunch.

Property choice for first-time buyers has also improved, with a 10% year-on-year jump in the number of two beds or fewer coming to market.

Rightmove director Miles Shipside said the housing market has hit the ground running in 2016, continuing last year’s momentum.

“Many agents reported high numbers of sales in November and December and properties selling more quickly, so it’s encouraging to see signs of replenishment of property, especially in the first-time buyer sector.

“However, in spite of the apparent veneer of market buoyancy, those thinking of putting their property up for sale need to avoid being too optimistic with their initial asking price, as most buyers are still understandably being very selective about their future home.”

There were over 127 million visits to Rightmove in January, up by nearly 20% on January 2015.

  • Commercial Trust

    I think that buy-to-let landlords are probably contributory factors to both the surge in demand and the uptick in supply.

    Investors are hurrying to complete purchases before 31 March to avoid paying the 3 percentage point SDLT surcharge that will apply to second or subsequent property purchases form 1 April. RICS has reported that landlords are responsible for much of the increased demand seen so far this year.

    The growing number of new properties could also be due in part to landlords. The NLA reported earlier in the year that the number of landlords looking to sell in the next 12 months has increased almost threefold since July 2015. As demand was forecast to increase in the first quarter of 2016, landlords looking to exit the game might be thinking that now is a time to put their property on the market.

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