The portal says homemover confidence and activity have been dogged by political uncertainty since 2016 but with a clear majority in the election, there is an opportunity to release pent-up demand in the spring, and for modest price rises.
Sellers’ pricing power will be enhanced by a lack of choice for potential buyers, with the proportion of agent stock that is available for purchase at its lowest for over two years.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, says: “Given the Brexit track record to date, further political twists and turns should not be ruled out, though with a large majority there is a higher possibility of an end to the series of Brexit deadlines, and the prospect of an orderly resolution.”
Rightmove measures the prices of 95 per cent of property coming to market, and predicts that buyers and sellers will on average see a two per cent rise in those prices by the end of 2020.
“While this is over twice the current annual rate of 0.8 per cent it’s still a relatively marginal increase as it’s a price-sensitive market” says Shipside.
“There will be regional variations. London is finally showing tentative signs of bottoming out, and we expect a more modest price rise of one per cent in all of the southern regions where buyer affordability remains most stretched.
“In contrast, the largest increases will be in the more northerly regions, repeating the pattern of 2019 with increases in the range of two per cent to four per cent.”
But 2020’s housing market will still fall short of capacity, and the factors to allow it to return to full health will only be in place when Brexit is well in the past according to the portal.
Rightmove also says more needs to be done to help aspiring first-time buyers.
Shipside adds: “First-time buyers are the drivers of the market. Too many are struggling to save the necessary deposits, and not all of them want to buy a new-build home through Help To Buy.
“More ways of getting more people onto the ladder would help to limit rising rents, increase liquidity and transaction numbers in the housing market, and make the dreams of their own roofs above their heads a reality for many more of the younger generation.”