estate agent window tenant demand house prices

House prices stabilise as less sellers agree to reductions in early 2024

For anyone paying close attention to UK house prices, the picture is certainly brightening for the sector with either green shoots of growth or a change in direction from last year’s falls.

There are multiple ways to look at house prices to assess the state of the property market. Some house price indices focus on asking prices, such as Zoopla and Rightmove, while others look at sold prices for mortgaged properties based on their own lending, like Halifax and Nationwide.

The latest one to be released, from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) using HM Land Registry data, takes into account the house prices of all properties sold, but only upon registration of sale, meaning the figures can appear to lag behind compared to others.

Estate agency Hamptons, meanwhile, has carried out an analysis looking specifically at the gap between the seller’s original asking price, and the amount the property was sold for, which can be another way to gauge appetite and sentiment within the market. It can also indicate the direction in which house prices may go in the near future.

According to Hamptons, there has been a sharp fall in the quantity of property price reductions so far this year, suggesting both that sellers are pricing their properties competitively from the outset, and that buyer demand is strong enough to stick close to asking prices.

House prices becoming more stable

The data shows that people selling their homes in January were less likely to reduce their asking price than at any time in the last eight months, with less than half (48%) of homes having their prices dropped. This compares with a peak of 55% of sellers bringing down their prices in October last year.

Properties had been on the market an average of 80 days – almost three months – before house prices were reduced, reflecting the slower and more changeable market of 2023. As Hamptons points out though, more than a quarter (27%) of the homes that were reduced actually sold for more than their final listed price in the end.

The gap between asking price and final sale price also closed in January, says Hamptons, reflecting an improvement in mortgage rates along with more general market confidence with a better economic outlook from buyers.

On average in England and Wales, final sold house prices were at 98.9% of their asking price, which was up from 98.5% in both December 2023 and January 2023. This result meant that sellers achieved closer to their asking price in January than in any month since May 2023, when mortgage rates were almost at their peak.

Improving market led by north west

As the mortgage market continues to improve, with lenders remaining competitive on their rates and products, it is likely that both buyers and sellers will be keen to push ahead with their purchase plans this year. The hope is that as inflation continues to reduce, the Bank of England will follow suit by bringing down interest rates.

The latest house price index released by the ONS showed that house prices across the UK as a whole decreased by 1.4% in the year to December 2023, which is a much slower pace of fall than November’s 2.3% figure.

Regionally, the north west saw the biggest jump in house prices during the same period, with a 1.2% increase for the region, bucking the trend for the UK. This was followed by the West Midlands with a 0.3% rise.

UK housing market has turned a corner

Commenting on the latest figures, Hamptons head of research Aneisha Beveridge said: “The early signs in 2024 suggest that the market has firmly turned the page.

“Falling mortgage rates have been the primary catalyst, tempting last year’s missing movers to restart their property search.  Consequently, more households were looking to buy last month than in any January over the last decade, including the start of both 2021 and 2022.

“First-time buyers and second steppers, who tend to be most reliant on mortgage finance, are at the forefront of the recovery.  This injection of demand is starting to stabilise house price falls, particularly for mid to lower-priced homes, which should also improve selling conditions further up the chain as the year progresses.

“That said, the affordability picture is still more challenging than it was a few years ago which will keep a tight lid on price growth.”

Self-certified Sophisticated Investor

Please read

I declare that I am a self-certified sophisticated investor for the purposes of the restriction on promotion of non-mainstream pooled investments. I understand that this means:

I am a self-certified sophisticated investor because at least one of the following applies:

I accept that the investments to which the promotions will relate may expose me to a significant risk of losing all of the money or other property invested. I am aware that it is open to me seek advice from someone who specialises in advising on non-mainstream pooled investments.

High Net Worth Investor

Please read

I make this statement so that I can receive promotional communications which are exempt from the restriction on promotion of non-mainstream pooled investments. The exemption relates to certified high net worth investors and I declare that I qualify as such because at least one of the following applies to me:


Sign up for first access to new developments and exclusive property investment opportunities.

We send limited and targeted emails on new launches and exclusive deals which best fit your areas. We are trusted by over 30,000 active buyers as their source for new stock.

  • New property developments
  • Professional market reports
  • Property deal alerts
  • Development updates
Manchester property investment


Receive trending news straight to your inbox and stay up to date on all of the property market trends and advice.

Established since 2005 we are a leading voice of authority and commentary on the UK property market. Our news is trusted by Apple News & Google News.

  • UK housing market
  • Mortgage & money
  • Buy-to-let landlords
  • Guides & advice

Talk to us

Speak to our UK property experts today:


+44 (0) 333 123 0320

Open from 9am-6pm GMT


+852 6699 9008

Open from 9am-6pm HKT