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Asking prices for UK homes jump to near record high

London 

THE asking prices for UK homes rose to a near record this month after Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit breakthrough lifted confidence, website-operator Rightmove said.

Values increased 0.8 per cent on the month to an average £309,399 (S$559,400), it said on Monday. In London, they gained 2.7 per cent from a month earlier as uncertainty about the country's future with the European Union (EU) started to lift.

Visits to Rightmove's website jumped to a record as demand revived, the latest sign of a a pickup in property sentiment this year.

The 2016 Brexit referendum cast a long shadow over the UK housing market, with London being hit particularly hard. Britain finally left the EU at the end of January this year under a transition agreement and is now working on a long-term trade agreement.

"There is a boom in buyer activity," said Miles Shipside, director at Rightmove. "After three and a half years of Brexit uncertainty, dither, and delay, many now seem to have the 2020 vision that this is the year to satisfy their pent-up housing needs."

While the housing market is still supported by low interest rates, record employment and a shortage of homes, the period of Brexit uncertainty is not over. Mr Johnson has until the end of the year to finish a trade deal, which experts say will be a difficult task. BLOOMBERG