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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Buy-to-let boom doubles house price growth

The pace of house price growth has doubled due to a boom in buy-to-let sales ahead of April's stamp duty surcharge, new figures show.

The average property price in England and Wales jumped by £2,277 in February, a rise of 0.8%, which is double January’s 0.4% increase.

A dramatic 12% month-on-month surge in demand from landlords and second-home buyers drove the surge in sales.

The new figures from e.surv chartered surveyors also show that London house prices rose £36,903 in the past year, a rise of 6.8%, exceeding the average Londoner’s £35,333 annual salary.

The strongest sales were in Sandbanks, with property purchases in Poole up 21% year-on-year due to demand for luxury flats.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv, said: “House prices flew forwards in February, with the average home value in England and Wales increasing by an average of £79 each day.”

He pinned the increase on buy-to-let investors rushing to complete quickly to avoid April’s 3% stamp duty surcharge.

“February’s house price growth is fantastic news for homeowners, particularly those considering cashing in on the additional demand and making the most of this sellers’ market.

“Typical property values are now up £16,866 year-on-year, a rise of 6.2%, the fastest annual growth rate seen in 11 months.”

Prices have also been driven by the growing number of aspiring homebuyers competing for a limited supply of property for sale, Sexton said.

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