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Housing market sees post-election 'uplift'

Housing market sees post-election 'uplift'

There has been an "uplift" in sentiment in the property market since last month's general election, according to a survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The survey found sales expectations had "risen sharply" in December and a number of activity metrics had moved into positive territory for the first time in several months.

This has been predicted to boost house price inflation, which has slumped since 2016 and been stagnant for months.

Simon Rubinsohn, Rics chief economist, said: "The signals from the latest Rics survey provide further evidence that the housing market is seeing some benefit from the greater clarity provided by the decisive election outcome."

The majority of UK regions saw an increase in enquiries over December, with respondents in Wales and the north east in particular reporting solid growth. Meanwhile, enquiries also rose in London and the south east, which Rics said was a "noticeable turnaround" after a period of negative results.

The survey found 17 per cent more Rics members reported a rise in new buyer enquiries compared with those reporting a fall - this was the highest level since 2016.

Agreed sales also increased nationally and moved into positive territory, reaching their highest level in years.

The survey found house price growth in the south east, London and East Anglia remained soft but expectations for growth during 2020 were revised higher across the UK.

Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at EY Item Club, said: "The housing market may get a modest leg-up from the general election delivering a decisive Conservative win and the UK now inevitably leaving the EU with Boris Johnson’s deal on January 31.

"We will want to see sustained evidence of improving housing market activity and firmer prices before markedly changing our outlook for house prices over 2020.

"Nevertheless, we have modestly raised our forecast for house price gains over 2020 to 2.8 per cent from 2 per cent and we would flag that there is an increasing possibility that the increase could reach 3 per cent."

damian.fantato@ft.com