U.K. House Hunters Out in Force Despite Missing $21,000 Tax Cut

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Asking prices for U.K. homes rose in February as buyers shrugged off the approaching expiry of a property tax cut worth as much as 15,000 pounds ($21,000), according to Rightmove.

The average value increased 0.5% to 318,580 pounds, the U.K.’s biggest property website said. It was 3% higher than a year ago.

The surprising buoyancy of demand suggests the housing market may avoid the cliff edge predicted by some when Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak’s stamp-duty holiday comes to an end on March 31.

U.K. House Hunters Out in Force Despite Missing $21,000 Tax Cut

The tax break fueled a property boom after it was introduced in July. But conveyancing delays mean there are an estimated 100,000 purchase agreements that are unlikely to be completed before the deadline, Rightmove said.

“It would appear that many buyers’ desires to move are not dependent on the potential saving,” it said.

Price pressures were also fueled by a lack of supply, with some prospective sellers distracted by having to school children at home during the current coronavirus lockdown. The number of new sellers was 21% lower than a year earlier.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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