UK house prices rise unexpectedly: Stamp duty to the rescue?

 
Billy Ehrenberg
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Price changes are usually muted or negative in January

Are these the first signs of a bounce back in the property market? Data from Rightmove, a property portal, has shown that average asking prices have risen by 1.4 per cent in January.

This may not sound like a huge leap back to the heady heights of last summer, but January is not traditionally a good month for the housing market and prices usually fall.

In December, prices dropped by 2.2 per cent, leading the annual rate of growth down to seven percent. It now stands at 8.2 per cent.

This could be a case of the reformed stamp duty tax coming to the rescue as Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said:

Early 2015 statistics currently point in the right direction for home-movers, with the chancellor’s early Stamp Duty Christmas present perhaps being the spur for people making New Year resolutions to get on with moving. There are more positive signs of early-bird activity rather than pre-election jitters or economic worries deterring prospective movers. However, we are only a few days into the year and it remains to be seen whether this initial flurry is sustained.

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