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House prices hold despite Brexit anxiety with homes sold in record time

The UK housing market has shrugged off uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum, as asking prices have climbed to a record high, with the time taken to sell a house the fastest ever measured.

Rightmove, the online property portal, reported that asking prices increased by 0.8pc in May, making the average £310,471.

This is in contrast to the electoral uncertainty in the run-up to the general election in 2015, when asking prices dropped 0.1pc in May.

Greater London is the only area in England and Wales to record a monthly decline in asking prices, falling 0.2pc.

It also reported the time to sell is now an average of 57 days, the lowest since 2010. This is due to a severe lack of supply in the market, which has 5.3pc fewer new-to-market properties compared to the same time last year.

This shortage has been exacerbated by the surge of investors buying in the first three months of the year before stamp duty was hiked by 3pc.

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: “In many parts of the country, the over-riding factor of supply outstripping demand has so far overcome buyers’ usual reluctance to make major financial decisions at times of political uncertainty.

“Most seem to be getting on with the certainties they can control, namely if you find a suitable property snap it up. Indeed, the figures for average time to sell indicate that properties are being snapped up more quickly than ever.”

Asking prices are a less reliable barometer of the housing market, as they can be distorted by agents mis-pricing properties.

The highest annual rate of growth in house prices is in the east and south-east of England. London’s average annual price growth of 4.8pc is outpaced by Wales and the south-west of England.

A poll by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors last week forecast a short-term period of falling house prices because of uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum.

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