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Rightmove House Price Index August 2019

Brian Murphy, head of lending for Mortgage Advice Bureau comments:

"Asking prices and sales agreed levels generally provide a fairly accurate indication of market sentiment at any given time, and today’s latest figures from Rightmove are no exception. This latest report indicates that a softening of marketing prices – which is a seasonal trend and certainly no cause for concern – appears to be tempting many buyers to take action sooner rather than later. Indeed, given the barrage of economic and political headlines over the past month, it’s perhaps all the more surprising to see that sales agreed have been at their highest level at this time of year for four years over the past month. Of course, there are nuances in terms of regional performance, and the ongoing hotspots of the North East, East Anglia and Yorkshire and the Humber appear to have maintained their popularity, with Rightmove observing that these were the busiest markets over the past few weeks. Broadly speaking, however, this is perhaps a more positive position than many had expected we’d see at this point in the year.

"Another encouraging note to take away from today’s data is that the fears of some in the industry that we may see a pause in the market due to possibility of stamp duty reform in the Autumn budget appear, so far at least, to be unfounded. From what Rightmove are reporting, one might suggest that the majority of buyers don’t appear concerned that they may be able to save money on their purchase costs should the mooted radical changes to stamp duty be introduced as part of a pre-Brexit boost for the UK economy. Instead, it seems as though those who have committed to buy or sell in the last few weeks are doing so simply because their individual circumstances dictate that now is the right time for them. One might also suggest that, should Sajid Javid decide to announce an overhaul of the stamp duty system in the next couple of months, then any upside for those currently in the process of buying their main residence in terms of saving costs at the point of purchase would be welcome windfall. But not, perhaps it seems, one that many feel it’s worth putting their current plans on hold for.”

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