Rightmove have just issued their January House Price Index and it's caught everyone on the back foot with an increase of 2.3% in the month to 15th January. The previous month saw Nationwide and Halifax diverge with figures of 0.1% and 1.7% respectively. Commentators suggested that Halifax's methodology had somehow overstated the rise. Perhaps not.
The increase is the highest for this time of year since the property portal started its index back in 2002. Not only are asking prices higher, both new enquiries and transaction volumes have seen a big jump.
Mike Shipside, a Rightmove director, commented -
"These statistics seem to indicate that many buyers and sellers feel that the election result gives a window of stability. The housing market dislikes uncertainty, and the unsettled political outlook over the last three and a half years since the EU referendum caused some potential home-movers to hesitate. There now seems to be a release of this pent-up demand, which suggests we are in store for an active spring market.
It should be noted that Rightmove's data reflects the asking prices of new properties coming to market rather than the prices of transactions completed, but has historically been a good indicator of ongoing trends.
Further evidence of a return of confidence after the election came from online property portal Habito who reported that online searches for UK mortgages had increased 113% in the weekend after the election compared to the weekend before. Daniel Hegarty, CEO -
"We've seen a marked jump in both Google searches and our own website traffic since the result of the election, across all buyer types: first timers, next-time movers and buy to let landlords.
Good news for property investors, less so for the first time buyer.