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House prices show strongest ever start to a year

House prices show strongest ever start to a year

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 20/01/2014
First Published: 20/01/2014

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Figures from the latest Rightmove House Price Index reveal that this has been the property market's strongest ever start to a year, with asking prices rising by 1% over last month – the largest January increase since Rightmove started recording this measure in 2002.

This means the average house price now stands at £243,861, up from December 2013's figure of £241,455 and showing a year-on-year rise of 6.3% – the highest annual increase since November 2007. These rising prices are perhaps fuelled by a distinct lack of supply, with just 58 properties per estate agency branch meaning that the market has the lowest stock of property for sale since February 2007.

However, despite ever-rising prices, the figures also indicate that UK homeowners are becoming a lot more optimistic about the property market as a whole, a sentiment that's been backed up by several other surveys over the last month.

Demand for new properties is definitely on the up, further indicating that the level of optimism is increasing. In the first week of January alone the number of newly-marketed properties rose by 4% compared to the same period last year, whilst in the first two weeks the amount of website traffic and email leads from the property site rose by 20% year-on-year, suggesting that 2014 could see another surge of activity.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, comments on the latest Index:

"This is the strongest start to a new year for house prices that Rightmove has ever recorded, and that will get some potential sellers salivating at the thought of better moving prospects.
"The early statistics for any new year are keenly anticipated as they indicate the shape of things to come in the year ahead. With a very strong start in both the price of property coming to market and the number of people looking at what's on the market, it suggests that the new year resolution for many is to make 2014 their year to move."

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