A sharp rise in potential buyer demand has been reported by Zoopla while Nationwide this morning reported a 0.5% monthly rise in house prices .
The lender put the average house price this month at £215,897 – 1.9% higher than this time a year ago.
Meanwhile Zoopla said that buyer demand during the four weeks between December 23 and January 19 was 26% higher compared with the same period the year before.
With the exception of Belfast, every UK city recorded an increase in demand from buyers over this period, with Sheffield, Leeds and Leicester showing the greatest above-average increases.
Zoopla’s report follows other positive updates on the housing market, with Savills and Knight Frank among those reporting a bounce in buyer enquiries since the general election last month.
Zoopla’s research and insight director Richard Donnell said that while an uplift in interest is to be expected in the first few weeks of the year, demand at the start of 2020 has been particularly strong.
He said: “This is partly due to fading political uncertainty. Households who were holding off moving are now starting to return to the market and this momentum has been supported by low mortgage rates.”
Zoopla also identifies the cities with the best prospects for 2020, using a range of metrics including housing affordability, discounts to asking price, and time to sell.
It ranks Nottingham as number one, with Edinburgh, Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham rounding out the top five. Regional cities in general are performing best due to continued economic growth and better affordability, said Donnell.
London ranks at number 16 in the prospects table for this year.
Overall, Zoopla expects city house prices to grow by an average of 3% in 2020.