House prices record highest January surge since 2020

18th January 2024

House prices record highest January surge since 2020

House prices are experiencing the most significant January increase since 2020, with many home-hunters already making moves in 2024, as reported by Rightmove. Estate agents are witnessing a busy start to the new year, according to Rightmove’s latest house price data. This data reflects the current state of the property market, revealing that the number of new properties entering the market for sale is higher than in the first week of January last year. Additionally, the demand from potential homebuyers has increased compared to 2023.

Estate agent Chris Rowson, Managing Director at Sharman Quinney in Cambridgeshire, notes, “It’s certainly chilly out there at this time of year, but the housing market is just heating up.” He further highlights that future sellers are scheduling valuation appointments, while future buyers are inquiring and arranging viewings, with a notable number of offers already being made.

Another positive indicator of a robust housing market in 2024 is the increasing number of individuals initiating the process of obtaining a Mortgage in Principle. Rightmove reports that since December 27th, nine out of its ten busiest days for Mortgage in Principle applications have occurred. January is projected to be the busiest month since the service’s launch in 2022.

The average asking price of homes in Great Britain has witnessed the most significant New Year bounce since 2020, rising by £4,571 (+1.3%) to nearly £360,000 this month. However, this remains lower than the same period last year, indicating that new sellers are being realistic about their price expectations as the market continues to recover from historically higher mortgage rates.

Looking ahead, Rightmove predicts a marginal dip in average asking prices by the end of the year, with a projected 1% decrease nationally. Despite this, the underlying demand from buyers at the right price makes a more significant drop unlikely in 2024.

Key points for 2024 homebuyers include a 15% increase in the number of homes coming to market for sale compared to the start of last year. The North East and South West regions have experienced the most significant growth in new listings. Mortgage rates have continued to decrease, with some lenders offering attractive deals, suggesting a more stable backdrop for the mortgage market compared to the previous year.

In terms of the current housing market for home-sellers, there is a notable increase in the number of sales being agreed, up by 20% compared to the same period last year. Buyer demand has also risen, with potential buyers contacting estate agents about homes for sale 5% more than in the same period last year.

However, it is emphasized that pricing competitively will be crucial for sellers in 2024, despite the increased buyer activity. Elevated mortgage rates and the wider cost-of-living squeeze are limiting buyers’ spending power, making accurate and realistic pricing essential for successful sales.

In conclusion, the data at the beginning of 2024 points to a building momentum in the housing market, with many individuals taking action to make their moves, including those who may have paused their plans in the previous year. The impact of potential economic news and the upcoming election in the second half of 2024 will be monitored, but for now, the housing market shows positive signs of momentum.