Buyer demand nudges up asking prices for UK houses: Rightmove

·1 min read
A row of houses are seen in London

By Andy Bruce

LONDON (Reuters) - Asking prices for houses in Britain resumed their upward trend this month as buyer demand far outstripped the supply of houses coming to the market, a survey showed on Monday.

Real estate website Rightmove said asking prices rose by 0.3% in its September survey to reach a new record high of 338,462 pounds ($466,671), reversing a 0.3% drop in early August.

Overall the survey added to signs that the housing market has retained some of its upward momentum even after the gradual withdrawal of temporary tax breaks on property purchases.

Finance minister Rishi Sunak cut stamp duty, a tax on house purchases, in July 2020. But in July it started to return to its pre-pandemic level and the tax break fully expires this month.

The tax cut aimed to reverse a slump in property sales at the start of the pandemic, and helped fuel a surge in property prices and some new construction. Many households were already seeking more spacious housing suited to working from home, a factor which has led to big price rises in other countries too.

"The high ratio of buyer demand to properties for sale means that the property market remains stock-starved despite the summer lull lessening overall activity," said Tim Bannister, Rightmove's director of property data.

The company said the number of prospective buyers per property had more than doubled compared with pre-pandemic levels - chiming with a similar report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The August survey covered property first advertised on Rightmove between Aug. 8 and Sept. 11.

($1 = 0.7253 pounds)

(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken)

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