The average asking price of a newly listed home has risen by 1.3% in January, with 5% more buyer demand and 20% more sales agreed nationally in the first week of 2024 than in the same period last year, according to the latest figures from Rightmove.
However, nationally prices are still 0.7% lower than at this time last year, although Yorkshire and the Humber is one of several regions where asking prices have increased in the past 12 months, with Rightmove’s data currently showing year on year growth of 0.6%. Nationally, the number of new properties coming onto the market for sale is also 15% higher than in the same period last year.
Rightmove also revealed that since Christmas it 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, which is another early sign of movers getting their 2024 plans in place. The average five-year mortgage rate is now 4.86%, down from 5.11% last month and 1.25% lower than during the July 2023 peak when they stood at 6.11%.
Patrick McCutcheon, head of residential, here at Dacres said: “It’s early days but Rightmove’s early snapshot of buyer and seller activity since the start of the year is tentatively promising for those looking to move in 2024 after what was a hesitant 2023.
“The figures show that both buyer and seller activity has increased compared to last January, shortly after the mini-Budget debacle, which shows how confidence is returning and this is certainly a trend that we’ve seen in Yorkshire, where buyer demand remains good.
“This is boosted further by borrowing rates which are likely to continue falling as lenders compete for business. Crucially, the supply and opportunity for buyers has also returned towards more normal levels thus reducing anxiety about the onward move. I believe we will continue to see a return to a more active market, with consistent and positive sales volumes and even a little more price growth within our core Yorkshire area this year.”
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property science, commented: “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.
“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.”