Property market off to a buoyant start to the year

Asking prices for houses in England and Wales have risen by £1,500 in January – just one of the signs presaging a buoyant property market in 2016, according to a report from the property website Rightmove.

UK residential property
The report also pointed to a 6.6 per cent jump from a year ago in the number of properties for sale in the first-time buyers' target sector, which embraces homes with two bedrooms or fewer.Rightmove said the £1,509 month-on-month property price rise represented a 0.5 per cent increase on December and took the average asking price to £290,963 across England and Wales. The strength of the market, the company added, could be seen in the fact that the number of visits to its website was 21 per cent up on last year in the first working week of January.Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, commented, "In this stock-starved era it will come as a relief to first-time buyers that their negotiating power may already be improving because of the forthcoming tax changes (for buy-to-let investors), and there is a window of greater choice as more owners of smaller properties try to sell."Rather than waiting until later in the year, having a good look around now while choice is up and interest rates remain unchanged could get you on to the ladder sooner and at an acceptable price."Every region across England recorded higher average asking prices in January than a year earlier with the East of England seeing the largest increase of 9.8 per cent compared to a year ago and reaching £312,921 on average. The rise in London was 7.8 per cent, bringing the average to £610,741.Wales actually saw a year-on-year decrease of 0.5 per cent to an average of £165,722 while Yorkshire and the Humber recorded the smallest annual increase in England with a rise of 2.8 per cent, taking the average asking price to £165,722.David Blythman, managing director of Oxfordshire estate agents scottfraser, told Rightmove, "We've seen a strong start to the year in Oxford with an increase in general seller enquiries while buyer demand stays strong."Any potential sellers considering coming to market to take advantage of selling to an investor would need to move fast so they have the chance to complete before the end of March."Julian Peak, regional sales director of KFH South East and Kent, added, "Some areas of London have seen exceptionally strong demand in the opening weeks of the year. South-east London has been incredibly busy with more than double the number of buyers registering interest compared to the same period last year."For more Re:locate news and features on residential property, click here and for more on commercial property, click here

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