Property price growth will recover momentum next year after the “greater certainty” of the UK election result, according to Rightmove.
The property listing website (RMV.L) released its prediction for property prices in 2020, saying it expected average asking prices to rise 2% throughout the year. That would mark a significant lift on the current annual rate of 0.8%.
Britain’s property market will see a “more active spring moving season” after the festive period, according to its director and housing analyst Miles Shipside.
Rightmove believes low interest rates, high employment and rising wages mean the “fundamentals remain sound,” with demand resilient despite the toll of Brexit uncertainty in recent years.
But it highlighted a continued north-south divide. Prices in northern areas, where property typically remains far cheaper, are expected to increase by between 2% and 4%.
In the south, which is generally more expensive, a “more modest” 1% growth rate is expected as affordability holds back sales.
Rightmove’s December House Price Index also notes demand outstripping supply over the past year. The number of sales agreed so far in 2019 is 3% lower than a year earlier, but the number of properties coming to market has fallen more sharply by 8%.
Estate agents’ stock levels are at their lowest in more than two years, according to the company.
“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,” said its latest report.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, added: “Given the Brexit track record to date, further political twists and turns should not be ruled out, though with a large majority there is a higher possibility of an end to the series of Brexit deadlines, and the prospect of an orderly resolution.”