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Upbeat Housing Market start to 2024 reports Rightmove

Average new seller asking prices rose 1.3 per cent between December and January - the biggest rise at this time of year since 2020.

Even so average prices are still 0.7 per cent lower than at this time last year.

Rightmove says there’s been tentatively promising activity in the first week of the year, markedly stronger than a year ago, as more prospective buyers and sellers seem to have the confidence to get their 2024 moving plans started early.


The number of new properties coming onto the market for sale is 15 per cent higher than in the same period last year, while buyer demand in the first week of 2024 is also five per cent higher than in the same period last year. 

However, competitive pricing from sellers is still vital, with the number of new properties coming to market outpacing the rise in demand, the portal says.

The number of sales agreed is 20 per cent higher than during the first week of last year, indicating a strong return of buyer confidence when compared with the unsettled post-mini-Budget period.

Since Christmas, Rightmove has seen nine of its 10 busiest days on record for people getting a Mortgage in Principle to see what they can afford to borrow, another early sign of movers getting their 2024 plans in place.

The average five year mortgage rate is now 4.86 per cent l, compared to 6.11 per cent at the July 2023 peak. While there may be more surprises to come, Rightmove says early indicators suggest a more stable year for the mortgage market after its volatility from September 2022 onwards.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Science, says: “Rightmove's whole-of-market data puts us in a position to see the very earliest signs of activity in the market, and the number of new listings, buyer enquiries to agents, and sales being agreed are encouraging early indicators. 

“Combined with our more recent Mortgage in Principle data, the numbers suggest that many are taking action to make their move in 2024, perhaps including some who paused last year due to the more unsteady mortgage market. 

“A General Election is expected to be held during the second half of 2024, and traditionally we see a temporary slow-down in activity in the weeks before an election, as movers wait for the outcome and assess any impact that it may have on their housing plans. It will be important to keep a careful eye on this and on the impact of other economic news this year, but for now the data at the start of 2024 points to building momentum, and reasons for growing market optimism.”

He continues: “After a stop-start market in 2023, the initial signs suggest a smoother year for movers in 2024. 

“More new sellers are now entering the market, and with more confident pricing. While the increased level of buyer activity that we’re also seeing may justify some of this increased pricing confidence from sellers, it’s important that sellers who are keen to find a buyer don’t get carried away with New Year enthusiasm when setting their price expectations. 

“Elevated mortgage rates and the wider cost-of-living squeeze are still limiting buyers’ spending power. Accurate and realistic pricing for their local area is the recipe for success for sellers looking to get moving in 2024, and it’s been proven that  over-optimistic pricing makes a move much less likely.”

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    It's static in my area, Manchester, there are still some sellers who think it's 2022, but most are sensible.


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