House prices in the UK have risen at the fastest rate on record over the festive period.
According to the latest research by Rightmove, house prices have increased by 2.3 per cent as confidence increased in the market following the general election in December 2019.
The increase is the largest rise for the period between 13 December and 15 January since Rightmove began collecting data for its house price index in 2002.
65,000 properties were put up for sale in the UK during this period, with an average asking price of £306,810.
Additionally, the number of property sales that were agreed increased by 7.5 per cent year-on-year, with first-time buyer activity remaining strong.
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) data for transactions also showed a 4.3 per cent annual increase, with buyers encouraged by low borrowing costs.
The housing market in England and Wales is expected to be strong in the opening months of 2020, with 2.2 per cent growth predicted in January and 3.5 per cent in February, with the average UK house price set to rise to £292,367.
Miles Shipside, Director at Rightmove, said: “First-time-buyer activity has remained strong, buoyed by cheap interest rates and the high costs of renting. The downside of this high demand is upwards price pressure, with the average price of a typical first-time-buyer property hitting a new record high.
“However, the annual rate of increase remains fairly modest at 1.6 per cent, less than the rate of growth in average earnings, so affordability has actually improved a little for first-time buyers.”