Price rises, property website Rightmove warns

Price rises, property website Rightmove warns

LONDON Reuters - Asking prices for British homes advertised increased solidly this month and last week's cut to the property purchase tax announced by finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng could fuel demand further, property website Rightmove said on Monday.

In August, prices went up by 8.7% in annual terms after an 8.2% increase, with the average asking at 367,760 pounds $399,240 Rightmove said.

Britain's housing market was showing signs of cooling after a 20% rise in prices since the start of the epidemic, as the cost of living goes up and the Bank of England raises interest rates.

Last week, Kwarteng announced a cut to the stamp duty tax on homebuyers, part of a wider plan to boost economic growth that was poorly received by financial markets.

The announcement is likely to spur more demand in the housing market, according to Rightmove's director of property science Tim Bannister.

If it does lead to a big jump in potential buyers competing for the limited number of properties for sale, it could lead to some unseasonal price rises over the next few months. Rightmove's index of asking prices, which is not seasonally adjusted, typically falls in November and December.

A third of all homes currently for sale in England are now exempt from stamp duty, due to Kwarteng's move to raise the transaction threshold to 250,000 pounds from 125,000 pounds.