New data from Rightmove reveals that, after the first month of 2024, the number of new properties coming onto the market for sale is 13% higher than last year, while buyer demand over the same period is 7% higher
One of the factors contributing to confidence amongst many sellers and buyers to get their 2024 moving is the more stable mortgage market, which has remained calm at the beginning of the year.
Average mortgage rates have continued to slowly trend downwards, and the average five-year mortgage rate is now 4.64%, compared to the peak of 6.11% in July 2023.
After the first month of the year, the number of new properties coming to the market for sale is 13% higher than last year, while the number of future buyers sending enquiries to estate agents is 7% higher. Those who are considering a move in 2024 but have not yet taken action can use Rightmove’s tools and resources to help them to decide the right time to move. Rightmove’s property expert Tim Bannister said:
“The early data suggests estate agents have had a busy start to 2024, with more market activity than at the start of last year. This activity we’re seeing is likely to be a combination of those movers who have recently decided to make 2024 their year for a new home, and some pent-up demand from those who took a step back last year to consider their options while the outlook for mortgage rates was more unclear. It’s early days but the first month of data is encouraging.”
On another note, recent research from eXp UK has shown that there has been an 80% annual increase in the number of homes entering the market in the last two weeks. eXp UK analysed the number of homes that have been listed for sale in the last 14 days and how this influx of fresh for sale stock compares to both the closing stages of last year (Nov 23) and on an annual basis (Jan 23).
The research shows that a total of 83,033 homes have been listed for sale across the British market in the past 14 days. This is a 24% increase when compared to November 2023, and an enormous increase of 80% compared to this time last year when just 46,092 homes were listed for sale during this two week period.
As well as nationwide increases, the analysis by eXp UK shows that every single region of Great Britain has recorded both quarterly and annual increases in fresh stock entering the market. The biggest quarterly increase has been recorded in the South East where new listings in the past 14 days total 14,132 which is 31% up on last quarter (10,798).
Strong growth has also been recorded in Yorkshire & Humber (30%), East of England (28%), the West Midlands (25%), London (24%), and the South West (23%). While Britain’s quarterly growth has been impressive, it pales in comparison to a remarkable annual performance that should leave even the most fervent housing market sceptic feeling optimistic for 2024.
What’s more, the latest data from Halifax Mortgages revealed that, in January, the average house price across the UK surged to £291,029, marking a 1.3% increase from December 2023, or a cash increase of £3,924. This growth represents the fourth consecutive monthly rise, leading to an annual increase of 2.5% – the highest annual growth rate since January last year.
Kim Kinnaird, Director at Halifax Mortgages, highlighted the factors contributing to this optimistic start, including the reduction of mortgage rates by lenders amidst increasing competition, the easing of inflationary pressures, and a resilient labour market. The average deposit for first-time buyers has risen to £53,414, which is approximately 19% of the purchase price. This financial hurdle has led to nearly two-thirds (63%) of new buyers purchasing properties in joint names to manage affordability.
London continues to boast the highest average house price at £529,528, although the capital saw a slight annual decrease of 0.4%. This mixed picture underscores the complex dynamics at play in the UK housing market, with various regions experiencing differing trends.
Nathan Emerson, CEO at Propertymark, commented on the gradual price increase as a positive sign, especially given the impact of higher interest rates on mortgage affordability. The stabilisation of interest rates by the Bank of England towards the end of 2023 has provided additional confidence for prospective buyers.