Property prices ease heralding a better moving market in 2024

Jan 08 | 2024

The UK government’s House Price Index fell in October 2023 (the latest month for which figures are available at the time of writing) by 1.2%.

This follows a smaller 0.6% fall the previous month.  The fall in Wales was 3%, however there was a small increase of 0.2% in Scotland.  The only English region to record an increase was the North East.  The government said, however, that transaction numbers were 21% lower than normal so later revisions to this data might be larger than usual.

Nicky Stevenson, Managing Director at national estate agent group Fine & Country, said that although 2023 had been ‘bumpy’ the current property market is looking increasingly buoyant, particularly in view of the steeper than expected drop in inflation reported in December. “The fact that the housing market has remained robust despite the year’s economic challenges gives reason to be positive about its continued resilience and growth. Buyers are proving highly motivated to move, with some having put their plans on hold while waiting for the economic landscape to stabilise. Good quality homes in sought-after locations are still being snapped up quickly as a result. Properties marketed at first-time buyers should become an easier sell in the new year as mortgage providers continue to compete for business and are bringing interest rates down in the process, widening affordability and the potential pool of movers.” 

Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, said that, although the average price paid for a home is less than a year ago, the first time for over a decade, stability is on the horizon with different measurements for house prices indicating a tapering off in house price volatility. “This is good news for homeowners, who have faced uncertainty all year about the value of their property and when the best time to sell is,” he said. “An important factor to bear in mind is that we have not seen as much of a drop-off in property transactions as there has been in other periods of economic difficulty. This demand has kept prices from facing a landslide in the last year. It is likely that the coming months will continue the trend of modest falls, but with inflation coming down at a faster rate than expected, we are hopeful that this will eventually bring more confidence back to the market, and more lenders will loosen the purse strings.”

After a difficult time for UK moving companies in 2023, the signs look promising for a more relaxed market and increased movement throughout 2024.