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UK Housing Markets See A ‘Boris Bounce’

In what is being called ‘Boris Bounce’, the UK housing market saw some great growth in the month of Jan.

January saw a rise of 1.9% in the housing prices, which was even better than the 1.4% rise seen in December last year. It must be remembered that December itself was a relief; the housing prices saw a <1% growth for 12 consecutive months before that. The last time prices rose that well was in November 2018, when they saw a 1.4% rise.

Many people are calling it the ‘Boris Bounce’, as it came months after Boris Johnson’s win as the UK Prime Minister. Prior to his election, UK was seeing political turmoil on two fronts – the issue of Brexit and the political instability of the top leadership. The housing market was just one of the many markets that suffered. In the 2010s, the growth in housing prices was just 38%, compared to the 180% seen in the 1980s. In 2019, the annual average growth stood at a mere 0.1%.

However, some experts are not too quick to lay the credit at Johnson’s feet. Nationwide Chief Economist Robert Gardner suggested that the market has been fairly stable and mortgage approval rates were still within the same margins. It must be noted that in the run-up to Christmas, mortgage approval rose by 24%. It cannot be attributed just as a holiday season phenomenon since the approval was 19.6% higher compared to the same time in 2018. In the Dec-Jan period, house prices saw an average rise of 0.5%. Currently, the average house price in the UK stands at £215,897.

But the housing market is directly linked to the economy. While many experts are predicting a stronger economy in 2020, the finalization of Brexit can still have some unpredictable impacts.

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