What A Difference A Leap Year Day Makes

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With the extra leap year day tomorrow, lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves, looked at historic property price patterns across previous leap years and what it could mean for the UK property market in 2020.

The research shows that over the last four decades property prices in a leap year have increased in all but two of the eight within that time frame, with one decline coming in the wake of the market crash of 2007 and the other following the crash in the early 90s.

In fact, the average annual property price growth during a leap year sits at a respectable 7.3 per cent compared to the year prior.

What’s more, property price growth in the year following each leap year increased at an average of 5.1 per cent, with home buyers completing also seeing house prices finish each respective decade at a higher value, again with the exception of just one in 2008 following the market crash.

In London, this average price growth increases to 8.1 per cent. Similarly, each leap year saw prices over the following year increase by a further 5 per cent on average.

Again, in the last 40 years, London homebuyers buying in a leap year have seen the price of their property finish the decade at a higher level than the year they bought, other than 2008 when there was a marginal decline.

Managing Director of Benham and Reeves, Anita Mehra, commented: ‘Historically, house prices in leap years over the last four decades have seen pretty consistent growth on an annual basis compared to the previous year, as well as the year following, which is great for homeowners who may be thinking about selling or home buyers currently completing on a purchase.

‘The figures also show that aside from the market crash, purchasing a property on a leap year is almost certain to see you finish the decade in a stronger position financially than when you bought your home.

‘A coincidence perhaps, but it certainly looks as if history is due to repeat itself this year. We’ve just emerged from a period of muted house price growth due to political uncertainty, however, early market indicators suggest confidence is returning to the market and house prices are due to increase at a healthy rate over the coming year.’

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