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Housing market shows signs of improvement

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The recent revival in the housing market is continuing, according to the latest survey from the Halifax.

Prices rose by 0.4% in January, the lender said, with the annual growth rate edging up to 4.1%.

Russell Galley, managing director at the Halifax, said a number of important market indicators “continue to show signs of improvement”.

“We have seen a pick-up in transactions with more buyer and seller activity consistent with a reduction in uncertainty in the UK economy.”

However, he warned, “it’s too early to say if a corner has been turned”.

“The recent positive figures may actually represent activity that would ordinarily have been expected to take place last year, but was delayed by economic uncertainty.

“So while housing market activity has undoubtedly increased over recent months, the extent to which this persists will be driven by housing policy, the wider political environment and trends in the economy.

Mr Galley added that Halifax was expecting “a moderate rate of house price growth over the course of the year”.

Marc von Grundherr, director of lettings and sale agent Benham and Reeves said, “It would seem that the Boris bounce in market activity that followed December’s election has blown market expectations out of the water where the rate of annual house price growth is concerned and has catapulted a once weary market back to previous form.

“Given the months of market decline and the seasonalities involved, this turn around is really quite remarkable and demonstrates the absolute resilience of our bricks and mortar market.

“We can now expect more of the same and we can look forward to a Brexit inspired bump in house prices now that we have finally departed and these green shoots will almost certainly be cultivated by the Government with aa further budget boost come Spring.”

Founder and CEO of Stone Real Estate, Michael Stone said, “We’ve seen levels of market activity return at an alarming rate since the back end of last year and such a rapid return to form where prices are concerned bodes very well for the year ahead.

“Heightened market activity will always bring about a lift in prices and the new-build sector, in particular, is helping drive this rejuvenation of the UK property market with the highest level of housing supply reaching the market in over a decade.

“This supply is vital if we are to satisfy the latest surge in buyer demand however the Government has also announced yet a further boost to market sentiment via the new build sector with the launch of the First Home scheme.

“Allowing first-time buyers to buy new with a notable discount in their local area will help to breathe life into the market from the ground up while keeping prices at a moderate level, at the same time helping those that have been most disadvantaged as a result of years of steep house price growth.”




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