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UK asking prices for homes hit new high after election

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The average asking price for homes in England and Wales hit a new record high as buyers returned to the market after last month's national election, property website Rightmove said on Monday.

[LONDON] The average asking price for homes in England and Wales hit a new record high as buyers returned to the market after last month's national election, property website Rightmove said on Monday.

The average asking price in the period between May 10 and June 6 jumped by a monthly 3 per cent to 294,351 pounds (S$614,426), Rightmove said in a statement.

Prices in London shot up by nearly 6 per cent after a 2.3 per cent fall in the previous monthly figures when there had been concerns about the opposition Labour Party's proposal for a new "Mansion Tax" on expensive properties.

In annual terms, prices in England and Wales were up 4.5 per cent.

The Conservative Party's success in winning an unexpected majority in parliament in the May 7 election helped boost the number of buyers but an anticipated increase in sellers had not occurred and supply fell, it said. "Some buyers had been holding back in the weeks before the election, leading to some sellers suffering an unseasonal price stand-still in the late spring," Miles Shipside, Rightmove's housing market analyst, said.

The new government urgently needed to play its part to deliver more new homes and stop asking prices being pushed up further, he said.

Several other measures of British house prices have recently shown the market heating up again after new rules on mortgage lending caused a slowdown last year.

REUTERS