The first few months of 2024 showed some promise for a housing
market which is stabilising following a challenging period for buyers and
sellers alike. So, with spring well under way, how is the property market
faring at the moment?

Boost in buyers

Prospective buyers are continuing to return to the market, as the number of
sales agreed is on the rise – there were 12% more agreed sales year-on-year in
April1. According to Zoopla ‘The number of agreed sales has now been higher
than the same time last year for four months running.’

Sellers returning

After fewer sales in 2022 and 2023 when mortgage rates increased substantially,
Zoopla’s April data shows that the housing market is on track for 1.1 million
completions in 2024, which is a 10% increase on last year.

Location, location, location

Different regions are still experiencing the market differently. House prices are
continuing to fall across southern England, the East Midlands and the East of
England, whereas market conditions have been improving across the North of
England, West Midlands, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Faced with increased mortgage costs, some home buyers are searching further
afield to get what they want at the right price ¬ – Zoopla’s latest consumer
research shows that a third of households that want to move are looking to
move out of their local area to secure their next home.

House prices stabilising

House prices appear to be stabilising; according to data published by Zoopla in
April, the average national house price fell by a small amount of 0.2% year-onyear, to £264,500.

Fewer accepting discounts

So far this year, fewer homes are being sold with a discount – last November,
the average discount on a property was £14,520. However, by the end of the
first quarter of 2024, this had reduced to £10,0001. But price sensitivity does
remain; it is currently taking 71 days to sell – the longest it has taken at this
time of year since 20192. This suggests buyers are still proceeding with caution
when choosing their next home.

What’s next?

Looking ahead to the rest of the year, experts do not envisage a dramatic rise in
house prices, nor do they predict a significant fall. Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s
Property Expert, commented on the first quarter of 2024, “It’s been a positive
first three months of the year for the market and better than many anticipated.
However, we know from last year how quickly the picture can change with some
negative economic news or surprises”.

Talk to us

We know that it can sometimes be tricky to make sense of the ever-changing
property market. We’re here to help you understand what it all means for you
and your property plans.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on
your mortgage

1 Zoopla
2 Rightmove

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