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Latest: February property market report

5 months ago
Latest: February property market report

The first month of a new year is complete, and various statistics and indexes have been compiled. If you’re hoping to move home soon, we’re sure you can pick up some positives among the myriad of reports. We’re starting with the latest round-up from Rightmove.

The property portal’s January House Price Index measures moving intent. It monitors how many people are expressing an interest in available properties and how many new instructions are coming to market. It also works out what the UK’s average asking price is.   

Up, up and away

For January, all of Rightmove’s most important metrics have increased and this is infusing the market with a great sense of optimism. Let’s start with news for buyers. There is more choice, with the number of new properties for sale coming to market 15% higher in January 2024 than in the same period in 2023.  

Buyer demand & sales agreed increase 

For sellers, the desire to move home is strengthening. Rightmove found buyer demand in the first week of January was 5% higher than in the same period last year. In addition, the number of sales agreed at the beginning of January this year was 20% higher than during the first week of 2023.  

There was also an increase in the average new seller asking price. This rose by 1.3% (+£4,571) month-on-month – the biggest December to January increase in prices since 2020. As a result, the average new seller asking price is now £359,748.

January also saw an increase in the average price of each sold property, as recorded by Nationwide. Its latest House Price Index showed during January, UK property values increased by 0.7%. This follows no change to house prices in December and several value reductions in 2023.   

Fascinating statistics also came from Tembo in early 2024. The financial company’s analysis found there has been a significant increase in the volume of older first-time buyers. In fact, the number of property novices who are aged 40 and over has been growing by more than 7% each year since 2018.

The most substantial uplift has been among those aged between 40 and 45, with growth of 7.9%. Surprisingly, the next most active group for first-time buyer growth was those aged 56+ (7%). Tembo also estimates the over 40s are set to account for 25% of first-time buyer transactions by 2030.  

Landlords start the year with optimism

This year has started with new positivity in the buy-to-let sector. When Together questioned UK property investors, it found 68% felt optimistic and 25% plan to refinance their properties to support their business aims in 2024. Furthermore, 34% of landlords are preparing to expand their buy-to-let portfolios over the coming year.   

It appears landlord confidence is running highest among one particular group. A survey of 300 mortgage brokers commissioned by Paragon Bank discovered 49% forecast a higher volume of buy-to-let mortgages will be arranged for portfolio landlords operating as a limited company. The research also revealed 45% of those questioned expect an increase in buy-to-let lending to private landlords operating as sole traders.  

Monthly rents slip back

Rental values are one area where we are beginning to see slight adjustments. The most recent HomeLet Rental Index charts a fall in the UK’s average monthly rent, with a decrease in December 2023 of 0.9%. This leaves the average monthly rent at £1,268.   

The East Midlands was the only UK region that saw rents rise in December. Rental values fell most sharply in Greater London (-2.2%). There was a -0.1% marginal drop in Wales but a more significant -1.2% decrease in Scotland.  

If you would like to know more about your local property market, please get in touch.

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