Industry expects transactions to pick up after January's rise in UK house prices




Monthly property prices rose by 0.5% in January 2024, but dropped by 0.6% year on year.

According to the Land Registry’s UK HPI, the average property price stood at £281,913.

The average house price has decreased by £2,000 from 12 months ago, according to the government data.

In the 12 months leading to January 2024, average house prices in England fell by 1.5% to £299,000, and declined by 0.8% in Wales to £213,000.

Whereas in Scotland, house prices grew by 4.8% to £190,000, with Northern Ireland seeing a rise of 1.4% to £178,000.

In England, the North West saw the highest price increase over the past 12 months to January with a 1% hike, while London saw the biggest level of deflation with a 3.9% drop in the same period.

Industry professionals gave their reactions to the latest figures:

Tomer Aboody, director at MT Finance:

"As property prices are stabilising and slowly creeping back up again, increased activity in the market is likely in coming months with inflation once again falling and a reduction in interest rates potentially on the way.

“The prime minister’s commitment to reducing inflation is working, helping produce more confidence in the market as buyers feel as though they have more disposable income.

“With mortgage rates also stabilising and slowly reducing, and more stock coming to market as we head into spring, transaction volumes are set to pick up.”

Richard Harrison, head of mortgages at Atom Bank:

“There are signs that house price falls are starting to slow, with January’s figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing house prices fell by just 0.6% in the 12 months to January.

“Ongoing economic pressures and affordability constraints at the start of the year meant that buyer confidence did not fully return to the housing market.

“Looking ahead, while the jury is still out on whether we will see further house prices fall in Q2, the news last week that the UK economy returned to growth in January should in part help boost buyer confidence.

“News this morning that inflation is falling faster than expected will also be well received, increasing expectations of base rate cuts and lower mortgage rates.”

Mobeen Akram, new homes director at the Mortgage Advice Bureau:

“It’s been a positive first quarter for the housing market so far and, while we’re still dealing with affordability concerns, buyer confidence is on the rise — this is particularly encouraging in the face of what has been a challenging macroeconomic backdrop.

“Movement in the market continues, with a -0.6% annual price change for existing properties, and a 16.6% annual increase for new builds [using data up to November 2023]. Furthermore, with inflation now falling to 3.4%, it’s clear to see that we are at the very least moving in the right direction.

“This is despite a lacklustre Spring Budget, where the housing industry was left out in the cold; housebuilding in particular needs more attention from the government, with more initiatives needed to make the new homes market more fluid and accessible.

“Overall, the outlook is cautiously optimistic, and signs are pointing to a market rebound, with 2024 proving to be much more positive than anticipated.

“While challenges remain, with continued economic stability, we can likely expect a healthier housing market in the months to come.”

 

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