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Asking prices in the UK have increased over the last month despite political uncertainty due to the general election, according to the latest index to be published. Average prices rose in all English regions, Scotland and Wales, reflecting an increasing and widespread confidence in the property market, says the latest index report from Home.co.uk. Confidence has increased even in lacklustre northern regions with prices in the North East and the North West both up by 0.6% since April, the data also shows. The fact that the new government looks set to continue Help to Buy and mortgage guarantee schemes will ensure further vigour in the vital first time buyer market. Moreover, the Right to Buy scheme and more home building will help ease supply problems over the next five years, the report points out. Time on market data shows that all regional markets have gained momentum over the last 12 months, with the exception of Greater London where the typical property is currently spending 14 days longer on the market than a year ago. Prices rise by 0.8% overall in England and Wales during the last month but the average annual home price appreciation for England and Wales moves down to 5.8%. The supply of property for sale is up by 8% compared to a year ago across the UK. The data also shows that the East of England becomes the most improved market over the last 12 months, with the average time on market falling by 15% to 125 days. ‘2015 is already looking like a more sensible and sustainable year for the UK property market. Confidence is growing in the northern regions and the London market has managed to exit a period of frenzied growth without a major catastrophe,’ said Doug Shephard Director at Home.co.uk. ‘Now we have the election out of the way, much uncertainty in the market has evaporated. Moreover, property prices are rising at a far more sustainable rate than we witnessed last year,’ he added. He also pointed out that the buy to let market looks set to continue to grow without the threat of rent controls as many look to property as a source of retirement income. Of course, this sector competes in the same space as first time buyers, and they are benefitting from government support and guarantees. And this is exactly the kind of grassroots stimulus that the market needs,’ said Shephard. He predicts a more ‘normal’ market over the course of 2015 and 2016 with prices rising steadily, mortgages available to those who can afford to pay them off and property taking a reasonable time to sell. The HAPI is based on asking price data which means the index can provide insights into price movements around 5 months ahead of mortgage completion and actual sales data. Properties above £1 million and below £20, 000 are excluded from the calculations. Continue reading →
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