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The price of property coming to the market in the UK increased by 1.4% in January at a time of year when prices usually fall, according to the latest index from Rightmove. It takes the average national asking price to £273,275 and means prices have increased by 8.2% in the last 12 months. But it points out that even although the number of properties on sale has increased by 2% this if failing to replenish agents’ historically low stock and currently levels are 10% below the same period last year. Sales activity has been boosted by Stamp Duty savings of up to £1,250 for some first time buyers and average property prices in this sector are down by £1,132 this month. However the firm reckons that despite continued low mortgage and inflation rates, sellers will have to work harder in 2015 than in 2014 due to election jitters and mortgage restrictions. It believes that lenders are selecting buyers who are good risks to lend to, and in turn buyers are very selective with the properties they choose. A closer look at the figures show that prices and activity both cooled in the second half of 2014, though there are signs of a New Year bounce back. More people are looking for property than last year, and more sellers are putting their property up for sale. ‘Early 2015 statistics currently point in the right direction for home movers, with the Chancellor’s Stamp Duty reform perhaps being the spur for people to get on with moving. There are more positive signs of early bird activity rather than pre-election jitters or economic worries deterring prospective movers,’ said Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst. ‘The unseasonably high 1.4% jump in new sellers’ asking prices suggests that there are more rises in the pipeline for the next few months. Early-bird buyers, including trader-uppers, can potentially catch a good deal by getting off the mark quickly in 2015, and get a better pick of the housing crop,’ he explained. Rightmove’s updated House Price Index now tracks typical property prices and supply for the main market sectors, including first time buyers, second steppers and the top of the housing ladder. It says that with the average first time buyer property coming to the market at £163,251, the reform to Stamp Duty announced in the Autumn Statement could mean potential savings of up to £1,250. ‘Should prices rise, as they look set to over the next few months, potential Stamp Duty savings will diminish, but they will still be helpful to first time buyers struggling to save enough to cover the Stamp Duty bill as well as the mortgage deposit,’ said Shipside. ‘First time buyers are in a potential win-win savings window this month with the price of property coming to market in this sector being over £1,100 cheaper, coupled with up to £1,250 in Stamp Duty savings. This is a welcome boost given that the price of property coming to market… Continue reading →
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