London Restoration Drives UK Home Worth Rise – Rightmove

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UK home asking prices rose a record 2.3% in February, property website right movement said on Monday, as the easing of Covid restrictions prompted a rebound in demand in London and people returned to office work.

The rise was the largest monthly jump in 20 years, meaning the average advertised cost of a home was £348,804. Asking prices have increased by 9.5% over the last 12 months.

“This new record means average asking prices have increased by almost £40,000 in the two years since the pandemic began, compared with just over £9,000 in the previous two years,” Rightmove said.

First-time buyers are expected to lose out in the race to purchase the few properties on the market.

Beleaguered British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was due on Monday to unveil plans to lift coronavirus restrictions as part of a controversial strategy to get out of the pandemic faster than most major economies.

According to Rightmove, prices were also driven by the difference between potential buyers, which are up 16%, and the number of properties on the market, which is up 11%.

Tim Bannister, the company’s director of real estate data, said when Covid restrictions were lifted: “We now have a group of movers looking to return closer to major cities or at least within easy commuting distance of their jobs”.

London property prices, which stagnated following the Brexit vote in 2016, saw the largest annual increase in property agent inquiries of any region – up 24% year-on-year.

The capital also had the highest annual rate of inflation in the past five years as the end of pandemic restrictions and a return to the office made London and its suburbs an attractive option again.

Lender Nationwide said earlier this month that sales prices rose 11% in January from a year earlier, giving home price inflation 2022 its strongest start since 2005.