London leads UK home asking prices to biggest gain in months


Bloomberg | | Posted by Yagya Sharma

UK property sellers boosted prices at the strongest pace in five months in October, led by a jump in the most expensive homes in London.

The real-estate website Rightmove said asking prices rose 0.9% from September, and by 1.9% in London. Properties at the top of the ladder rose most sharply, with little change for those sought by first-time buyers.

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The figures indicate it’s still too early to call an end to Britain’s property price boom, which lasted through the pandemic. A surge in borrowing costs triggered by interest rates from the Bank of England are likely to quell activity in the months ahead.

“New sellers coming to market have been pricing strongly,” Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property science, said in a report Monday. “There have been no immediate effects on prices, but the trend of a slight softening in the pace of growth continues.”’

October’s gain was below the 1.2% monthly average over the past five years. Rightmove said buyer demand has fallen 15% in the past two weeks, while many rushed to tie up deals before their relatively attractive fixed-rate mortgage offers expired.

That finding chimes with a report last week from Zoopla, which found that buyer inquiries dropped by more than a fifth since the government’s budget plans spooked financial markets.

Mortgage costs have risen sharply after Prime Minister Liz Truss’s government unsettled investors with unfunded pledges to cut taxes — a policy the government is now reversing.

Only 3.1% of sales fell through in the past few weeks, in step with the average for this time of year, Rightmove said.

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