UK's housing market booms through October, Rightmove says

FILE PHOTO: New houses under construction are pictured in Aylesbury, Britain August 6, 2020. REUTERS/Matthew Childs

LONDON (Reuters) - A surge in Britain’s housing market pushed up asking prices for homes this month by the most in more than four years, with buyers ready to pay a premium for larger properties after their lockdown experience this year, a survey showed on Monday.

Property website Rightmove said asking prices were 5.5% higher than in October last year. The average asking price now stands at a record 323,530 pounds.

In October alone, asking prices rose by 1.1% from September.

“Previous records are tumbling in this extraordinary market, and there are still some legs left in the upwards march of property prices,” Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, said.

Rightmove said it expected the annual growth rate for asking prices to peak at around 7% at the end of the year.

Other surveys of the housing market have painted a similar picture, with demand driven by pent-up demand following the coronavirus lockdown and a temporary cut to property taxes, as well as the hunt for bigger properties.

The outlook for the housing market in 2021 looks tougher, with unemployment likely to rise sharply in the final months of this year amid a resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic and an easing of government support measures for businesses.

Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by William Schomberg