London house prices have seen their biggest New Year surge since 2008, according to a survey released today by real estate agents Rightmove.
Demand increased, as did the number of homes on sale in January, with Rightmove noting a 3.6% increase in prices from last month. The average London property is now worth almost £481,000, the online estate agency said.
Last year also saw steep growth, with prices rising by 9.7% year-on-year in the biggest annual jump since 2010.
The findings come as leading economic think tank CEBR, released its national projections for 2013, noting a sluggish national increase of just 0.8%. If its forecast is correct, by 2014 prices will return to pre-recession levels for the first time since 2007.
In January, Rightmove said national prices rose 0.2%, in a strong month for sales.
What is shaking in London?
The number of new properties hitting the London property market rose 29% year-on-year. If this keeps up, it could help alleviate the problem of soaring prices as supply increases, Rightmove explained. It predicts London property prices will increase by around 3% next year, down on the 2012 jump.
The number of new sellers was also up. In London, 29% of new sellers list themselves on the website. Most of these sat tight during the worst of the recession as they didn’t have to sell but now are taking the opportunity to move up, or move on.
“Those coming to market this month have taken a pragmatic pricing approach and kept their asking prices pretty much the same as sellers in December,” said Miles Shipside, director and housing market analyst at Rightmove.
“While the number of sellers financially fit enough to come to market is still well down on pre-credit crunch levels, there appears to be an increased willingness among those that can to give it a go.”
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