Home mover activity surged in first week of New Year, data reveals

New registrations for home move services, including conveyancing, surveying and removals, were 73% higher in the first week of January 2024 than the same period last year, according to data from reallymoving.

After a quieter 2023, in which prices fell by 4.7% annually but did not collapse as some forecasters predicted, the data suggests movers are now feeling more confident about the resilience of the property market and are actively pressing ahead. Seeking quotes for conveyancing, surveys and removals indicates a higher level of commitment to moving home than time spent browsing property portals.

As the cost of borrowing falls, with the average 5-year fixed rate mortgage now 4.94% – down from 5.90% a year ago – according to Rightmove, more buyers are reassured that interest rates have peaked and borrowing costs are likely to decrease further this year.

First Time Buyers have been particularly proactive in their New Year home move preparations, accounting for 62% of all conveyancing registrations on the site during the first week of the year, compared to 53% during the same period in 2023. Founder and CEO of reallymoving, Rob Houghton, said:

“It’s encouraging to see a burst of home mover activity at the start of this year. People will only put their lives on hold for so long, and while the cost of borrowing is still a significant issue, it appears that many of those who held off in 2023 are now making the decision to go ahead, encouraged by the resilience of prices and some downward movement in mortgage rates as lenders compete for business.

We don’t expect to see a full recovery in transaction volumes this year and prices may dip further before we see a return to sustained growth. But the market has proved to be more resilient than many expected, households are slowly adjusting to higher borrowing costs and with housebuilding volumes still falling far short of the required level, early signs suggest that 2024 could be a better year for the housing market.”

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