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House prices hit record highs, says Rightmove

Average UK house prices rose 1.1 per cent to hit a new high in April of £313,655, according to the latest Rightmove house price index.

The previous high was £310,471 set in June 2016.

A Rightmove statement says: “While the run-up to an election creates a degree of uncertainty and often a pause in activity, this strong set of figures should help mitigate pre-election jitters.”

The index found that first-time buyer sector is driving growth, up 6.5 per cent annually to a new record of £194,881 on average.

Rightmove director and housing market analyst Miles Shipside says: “High buyer demand in most parts of the country has helped to propel the price of newly marketed property to record highs.

“There are signs of a strong spring market with the number of sales agreed achieved at this time of year being the highest since 2007. It remains to be seen what effect the run-up to the snap election will have, though any slowdown in activity will be counter-balanced by the market’s current fast pace.”

Legal & General Mortgage Club director Jeremy Duncombe says: “Until we start to see the promises from this year’s Housing White Paper put into action, the cost of entering the homeownership club will continue to rise. Great news for homeowners, but not for first-time buyers trying to break away from Generation Rent.”

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