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UK house prices will rise 2% over the next year, Rightmove said on Monday, as it revealed the smallest decline in December asking prices since 2006.

The property website said: “Home-mover confidence and activity have been dogged by political uncertainty since the 2016 referendum. With a clear majority in the election, there is now an opportunity to release some of the pent-up demand in the spring, and for some modest upwards price movement.

“Sellers’ pricing power will be enhanced by a lack of choice for potential buyers, with the proportion of estate agent stock that is available for purchase at its lowest for over two years.”

Rightmove director and housing market analyst Miles Shipside said that although the expected 2% rise is more than twice the current annual rate of 0.8%, it’s still a relatively marginal increase as it’s a price-sensitive market.

“There will be regional variations,” said Shipside. “London is finally showing tentative signs of bottoming out, and we expect a more modest price rise of +1% in all of the southern regions where buyer affordability remains most stretched. In contrast, the largest increases will be in the more northerly regions, repeating the pattern of 2019 with increases in the range of 2% to 4%.”

Rightmove said asking prices fell 0.9% in December to £300,025, marking the smallest drop at this time of year since December 2006. Prices had fallen 1.3% in November.

By Michele Maatouk

Source: ShareCast

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