The property market is likely to stage a Brexit “relief rally” over the summer, according to Britain’s biggest property website, as it revealed signs of bounceback in prices over the past month.

Rightmove said asking prices on its website jumped by an average of 1.1% – an increase of £3,447 – in the month to April 6 but remain 0.1% below the level of a year ago.

It said the Brexit delay is likely to boost confidence in the market. Miles Shipside of Rightmove said: “No doubt there are still a lot of twists and turns to come but this extension could give hesitating home movers encouragement that there is now a window of relative certainty in uncertain times.

“We are not anticipating an activity surge but maybe a wave of relief that releases some pent-up demand to take advantage of static property prices and cheap fixed-rate mortgages.”

Asking prices are traditionally strong during the peak spring house-selling period but Rightmove said the rise over the past month was the strongest since 2016.

However, its data shows that the time it takes to sell a property remains at elevated levels, at about 67 days, although below the peak at the start of the year.

The Rightmove analysis is in sharp contrast to a downbeat assessment of the market by Britain’s surveyors issued last week. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said it was likely that house prices would fall nationally for the next six months and that in London and the south-east the declines would stretch on for a full year.

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Recent house price data has become highly volatile, with falling transaction numbers resulting in extremely variable monthly figures.

Halifax reported that in February prices rose by an extraordinary 5.9% on the month alone. However, its March report said prices had fallen by 1.6%. Most housing economists are advising against reading too much into any one month’s data, with the quarterly and annual figures a more reliable guide.

There is also widespread concern over mispricing, with estate agents keen to get hold of the diminishing number of properties listed by overinflating expectations of the likely selling price.

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An investigation by the Times this month found that major estate agency chains were overvaluing properties by up to a fifth – then cutting significantly to achieve a sale – in a practice that can mislead sellers into paying higher rates of commission.

Rightmove said the strongest part of the property market was family homes, with parents no longer able to put off moving because of Brexit uncertainty.

Shipside said: “Properties in the middle sector are often second-steppers outgrowing their first property and it gets harder to postpone a move with growing children. They may have already delayed for a year or two waiting for Brexit clarity and, understandably, their patience is wearing thin.”



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