UK house prices March 2019: hopes property market has spring in its step after highest monthly price rise on record

The biggest monthly house price rise on record today raised hopes of a spring revival in the property market after a two year slump.

The average price of a home in Britain jumped 5.9 per cent to £236,800 in February, according to latest data from lender the Halifax, which has been monitoring the market since 1983.

The remarkable “off the radar” leap boosted the annual rate of increase from 0.8 per cent to 2.8 per cent, although economists cautioned against reading too much into a single month’s figures.

Russell Galley, managing director at the Halifax said: ”The shortage of houses for sale will certainly be playing a role in supporting prices.”

The Halifax figures come amid growing anecdotal evidence of a surge in buyers over recent weeks.

Ed Mead, founder of the property viewing website Viewber, said bookings since the start of the year are up 40 per cent on 2018.

Guy Gittins, Managing Director at agents Chestertons said: ”Following two years of substantial price drops, the market is now bottoming out. Property values in the capital – particularly in prime locations – have now come down to a level that is proving increasingly attractive to potential buyers, driving a huge surge in the number of people registering with agents and buying property since January.

“This dramatic imbalance between supply and demand is starting to fuel small price increases in areas like Hyde Park, Fulham and Putney as competition ramps up.”

Andrew Montlake, director of  mortgage broker, Coreco, said: “Prospective buyers are increasingly waking up to the fact that the current window of opportunity could slam shut in the event of a Brexit deal and are being more proactive.

“There’s a huge amount of pent-up demand out there and it’s starting to come through.”

First-time buyer numbers are also on the rise according to Pete Mugleston, Managing Director of Online Mortgage Advisor.

“The annual, quarterly and monthly growth of house prices announced by Halifax this morning, is likely a result of the increasing numbers of first time buyers on the market.

“In fact, we’ve seen a 54.6 per cent uplift in mortgage enquiries, in line with the yesterday’s UK Finance data that also showed new homeowners are at an all-time high. This spells really positive news for the housing industry as market activity is set to increase even in light of the current political landscape.

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