March Property Market Analysis

5 months ago
March Property Market Analysis

It was only two months ago that the property market was lauding the return of the Boxing Day bounce – the seasonal influx of buyers and sellers at the end of the year. Now, we’re interested to know if the intent to move home has translated into concrete action.  

If the latest crop of analysis is to be believed, the answer is yes. It’s even possible that the market turned a corner even earlier, thanks to news from Compare My Move. It reported a 70.8% increase in people looking for removal companies from December 2023 to January 2024.  

New Year’s Resolutions hold firm

Just like the Boxing Day bounce, the property market is subject to New Year’s Resolutions. Those pledging to find a new home in the new year have been true to their word in 2024, as both Rightmove and Zoopla statistics illustrate.   

Buyer demand increases

Property purchasers are back with a bang. Buoyed by a stable mortgage market, their intent has led Zoopla to claim that buyer demand is 11% higher now than 12 months ago. The number of potential purchasers has increased across the UK but growth is strongest in London, followed by the North East and North West regions.  

Rightmove’s February House Price Index concurs. Its analysis shows there has been a 7% upturn in the number of buyers enquiring about properties for sale. The portal adds that there are a number of ‘budget-conscious buyers who are keen to make 2024 their year to move.’  

It appears sellers are not holding back either, keen to capitalise on the current levels of buyer confidence. Rightmove found the number of would-be sellers contacting estate agents for a valuation was 23% higher in January 2024 than in the same month of 2023.

The figures show that the valuations given are hitting the right note. When compared to the same point in 2023, the portal noted that there are now 7% more new listings coming to market. In addition, vendors are feeling more bullish on the matter of pricing.

Rightmove says the average new seller asking price rose by 0.9% in February – that’s an extra £3,091 on a home’s price when compared to January. In yearly terms, the average asking price has risen 0.1% in 12 months, after a sustained period of decreases. As a result of the latest movement, the UK’s average asking price is now £362,839.   

Early sales agreed surpasses 2019 benchmark

Current asking prices don’t appear to be denting sales success. During the first six weeks of 2024, agreed sales were 16% higher than in the same period of 2023. Interestingly, this is 3% higher than in the more normal market of 2019.  

Zoopla’s analysis also shows more sellers are stepping forward this year. It says the flow of new homes for sale in 2024 is 10% higher now than a year ago. The most active regions for new sellers include the East of England, the South West and North East.   

Rent rises settle into single figures

As ever, there is always a balance to be found between the sales and lettings markets. Whereas buying and selling is picking up pace, there is a cooling off in the rental sector. Both HomeLet and Zoopla say that yearly rental value growth has settled at a single figure – 7.5% and 8.3%, respectively.  

The UK’s average monthly rent is now hovering around the £1,240 mark. HomeLet says the highest monthly rent increases at the beginning of 2024 were seen in the East Midlands and the South West. The most marked monthly rent decreases were in Northern Ireland and Greater London.   

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

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