Prices rose by 1.1% between September and October, 5.5% higher than the level seen a year ago
Rightmove has predicted a 7% rise in asking prices for 2020, having seen another steep rise in house prices in the past month.
The online property portal said prices rose by 1.1% between September and October to hit a record high, with prices now 5.5% up on the level seen a year ago. It is the highest annual rise in four years.
While Rightmove’s price index measures the asking price of properties, rather than the agreed sale price, other indices have also recorded sharp price rises in recent months.
The firm said the average time to sell a property, at 50 days, was quicker than ever seen before, and it expected annual increases to peak at around 7% in December.
The rise is the latest data confirming a surge in the housing market since lockdown restrictions were lifted, and comes despite growing fears over the economic impact of a second wave of coronavirus and a no-deal exit from the EU.
The firm said website traffic was 50% up in September on the same month in 2019, with the number of active buyers 66% up, only slightly lower than the 67% peak seen in July. The number of agreed sales was 70% higher than in 2019.
However, the firm did say it had seen the first signs of a slowing in growth in recent weeks, with the number of sales agreed in October so far just 58% up on 2019.
Tim Bannister, director of property data at Rightmove, said: There are still some legs left in the upwards march of property prices. Many buyers seem willing to pay record prices for properties that fit their changed post-lockdown needs, though agents are commenting that some owners’ price expectations are now getting too optimistic.
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