House prices up 2.6% despite ‘turbulent year’

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Annual house price growth reached 2.6% across England and Wales despite what haart estate agents called a ‘turbulent year’.

Haart’s market monitor found the number of new buyers entering the market rose by 9% in London and 10% across England and Wales, while there are currently 10 buyers chasing every property.

In the past year the buy-to-let market has been hit by measures including the 3% stamp duty surcharge, while wider political events such as Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump have shocked the markets.

Paul Smith, chief executive of haart, said: “House prices are proving their resilience as values this month beat those seen at the same time last year, at a time when the market was experiencing levels of hyperactivity in the rush to beat the stamp duty change. After a turbulent year, that is a truly remarkable achievement.

“Our data shows that there are currently 10 buyers chasing every property across England and Wales, a gap that is set to widen as we also see the number of buyers and first-time buyers entering the market increase every month, and as viewing figures bolster.

“All very impressive when considering the battering the industry has taken in the last 12 months, in the form of the stamp duty changes, letting agent fees and political upheaval.”

He added: “It is particularly positive to see first-time buyers entering the market up 11% on the month – proof that the aspiration for home ownership is still very strong among young people, whether the government are committed to helping them out or not.

“Whilst supply is still low, I urge those thinking about putting their house on the market to act now whilst demand is high to bag themselves a premium on their property.”

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