U.K. housing market sees bounce after Johnson's election victory

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The U.K. housing market perked up in December as Boris Johnson's commanding election win helped push up sales and expectations for price gains.

The number of agreed sales edged up for the first time since May, led by a marked increase in London, while near-term price expectations improved, according to a report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors published Thursday. A headline index jumped to the highest since June.

The survey is the latest to indicate that the housing market, and U.K. economy as a whole, got a boost from the end of political deadlock after the election. That may give Bank of England officials, who have indicated they are watching the data closely to see if the U.K. needs rate cuts, pause for thought before the January meeting.

"The housing market is seeing some benefit from the greater clarity provided by the decisive election outcome," said RICS Chief Economist Simon Rubinsohn. "The sales expectations indicators clearly point to the prospect of more upbeat trend in transactions emerging with potential purchasers being more comfortable in following through."

Here are comments from some of the real estate agents surveyed:

Sean Dempsey, Boultbee LDN Capital Ltd, London
"The election has had a sudden and not entirely expected positive effect on demand. Some buyers accept that prices may now rise."

J.J. King, Andrew Scott Robertson, Wimbledon
"Strong finish to the year, based on the result of the general election. A number of sales exchanged because of the result."

Simon Powley, Carter Jonas, Holland Park
"For the past 10 years we've been living in a political vacuum waiting for something to happen. With a clear majority government, confidence can return to the property market."

Chris Charlton, Savills, Nottingham
"Marked increase in viewing requests post-election and market appraisals. Looking forward to 2020 and getting back to normal, whatever that is."

Peter Buckingham, Andrew Granger & Co, Market Harborough
"A noticeable increase in valuations, instructions and viewings since the election result, so confidence is undoubtedly returning to the residential market."

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