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UK property market is on the move as sellers and buyers take action

The new year has brought with it a new wave of appetite in the UK property market, as the more stable mortgage market creates a welcome boost of confidence.

While 2023 was a year that held a certain amount of uncertainty for buyers and sellers, 2024 has shown a promising start, with a number of new figures and indices being released showing stronger performance overall so far.

After stagnating in some areas and falling in others, UK house prices seem to be firmly in positive territory again with another index revealing a further jump. This time, Halifax’s figures show a 2.5% annual rise in prices, while the monthly uptick was 1.3%. This brings the average UK property value to £291,029 according to the bank.

Overall, the data from Halifax shows that housing market activity has increased in recent months, and this involves more sellers taking action to put their properties on the market, as well as a greater number of buyers – some of which may have been sitting on the fence last year – now pushing ahead with enquiries and purchases.

Much of this growth in activity rests on market sentiment linked to interest rates. Although the Bank of England is yet to announce a much-anticipated drop in rates, lenders have been increasingly competitive and mortgage affordability has greatly improved compared with last summer’s peak.

Busy season for UK property agents

It is fairly typical that housing market activity ramps up after a pre-Christmas lull, but data from Rightmove implies this is more than just a seasonal acceleration. Its latest report shows that home valuation requests from sellers to estate agents were 23% up on last January’s figure.

The number of valuations also sits 27% greater than the third-highest month for valuation requests, according to Rightmove, which was in July 2020 at the start of the ‘pandemic rush’.

One of the main drivers behind this increase in UK property valuation requests, says Tim Bannister, property expert at Rightmove, is the more clear outlook for mortgage rates that has emerged in recent months. He puts it down to the “pent-up demand from those who took a step back last year to consider their options”.

“It’s early days but the first month of data is encouraging,” he adds.

Every region making headway

Further data released by eXp UK has backed up the trends recorded by Rightmove, with its latest report revealing that there has been an 80% year-on-year surge in the number of properties entering the market for sale in the past two weeks.

During the two-week period, the data shows that a total of 83,033 homes have been put up for sale, which is 24% higher than November 2023. Every region across the UK had an increase in UK property stock for sale, on both a quarterly and an annual basis.

Honing in on particular regions, the three standout location for an increase in properties for sale were Scotland, with a 216% surge during the past two weeks compared to the same period in 2023; the north east with a 159% rise; and the north west, where for-sale numbers have grown by 147% annually.

Adam Day, head of eXp UK, said: “There is a clear and undeniable momentum building across the British property market.

“Mortgage approvals are on the up, interest rates seem to have peaked and are expected to fall this year, and sellers are reacting to this growing market sentiment in order to take advantage of growing buyer demand levels.

“As a result, there’s been a considerable increase in the level of fresh for sale stock reaching the market and, as a result, the outlooks for the year ahead is a far more positive one than many could have predicted just a few months ago.”

If you’re an investor looking for your next UK property opportunity, get in touch with BuyAssociation today. You can also browse some of our current projects here, or read more about the UK property market on our news page. 

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