As we bid farewell to 2023 and step into the new year, the UK housing market is already displaying signs of promise. In a surprising turn of events, the average new seller asking prices have experienced a notable 1.3% increase month-on-month, reaching £359,748. This marks the most significant December to January surge in prices since 2020, although average prices still sit 0.7% lower than the same time last year.
Encouraging Market Activity
The first week of 2024 has witnessed a surge in activity, surpassing the subdued atmosphere of the previous year. Both prospective buyers and sellers are displaying increased confidence, initiating their 2024 moving plans ahead of schedule.
New Properties on the Market
There has been a 15% increase in the number of new properties coming onto the market for sale compared to the same period last year.
Buyer demand in the first week of 2024 has risen by 5% compared to the same period last year. Despite this positive trend, competitive pricing from sellers remains crucial, as the number of new properties entering the market outpaces the rise in demand.
The number of sales agreed during the first week of 2024 has seen a remarkable 20% increase compared to the same period last year. This suggests a strong return of buyer confidence, especially when contrasted with the uncertain post-mini-Budget period experienced a year ago.
Early Signs of Preparation
Rightmove, a prominent player in the housing market arena, has reported a surge in Mortgage in Principle requests since Christmas. Nine out of its ten busiest days on record have occurred as people proactively assess what they can afford to borrow. This early indicator signals a proactive approach as individuals set the stage for their 2024 plans.
Stabilising Mortgage Market
In addition to the positive trends in property prices and market activity, the mortgage market is showing signs of stabilisation. The average 5-year mortgage rate currently stands at 4.86%, a significant drop from the July 2023 peak of 6.11%. While uncertainties persist, early indicators hint at a more stable year for the mortgage market after the volatility experienced since September 2022.
In conclusion, as we navigate through the initial weeks of 2024, the UK housing market is displaying resilience and positive momentum. With increased seller confidence, growing buyer demand, and early signs of mortgage market stabilisation, the outlook for the year ahead appears promising. Whether you're planning to buy, sell, or explore mortgage options, now may be the opportune time to engage in the dynamic landscape of the UK housing market!
*Statistics gathered from the Rightmove House Price Index