For a long time, there was a short supply of properties, but this seems to be changing. There are more properties coming to the market, and house sales have gone up in the past year. Read more…

House sales have gone up by 9% annually, according to Zoopla. The property website’s latest House Price Index report for March shows that market activity has improved, and over 96% of vendors have achieved their asking price.

More sellers are putting their properties on the market, and the available stock of homes has increased by 20%.

Zoopla predicts that 2024 will be ‘a year of better sales volumes’. It says that all key measures of sales market activity currently show positive momentum.

New house sales agreed have gone up by 9% more than a year ago, with 7% more home sales agreed in the first quarter of this year than in the first quarter of 2023.

Faster real wage growth

Zoopla says the improvements are due to faster real wage growth (which means the rate of pay adjusted for inflation) and a healthy jobs market, which are both boosting consumer confidence.

The strongest sales growth is in areas where properties are more affordable, including Yorkshire and the Humber (11%) and the North West (13%).

Zoopla says that the annual rate of house price inflation remains negative at 0.3% – but this is up from a previous low of 1.4% in October last year. Southern regions are showing annual price falls, such as a 2.3% drop in the East and a 2% drop in the South East, indicating a North/South Divide where prices are concerned. Property prices are increasing the most in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Realistic asking prices

Some 41% of agreed sales in March were at a sales price that was 5% or more below the asking price. In financial terms, the average seller is settling on a sale of £10,000 below the asking price, but this figure stood at £14,250 last November. This reflects more realistic price points being set by vendors and more confidence among buyers.

Zoopla predicts that rising household disposable incomes are expected to be the main driver of housing affordability this year.

Economists predict that the base rate should fall to 3.5% by the end of 2025, which would indicate that mortgage rates could remain around the 4%+ range. However, these are only predictions, and it’s impossible to say for sure where rates will be in the coming months. We will keep you updated on any changes to interest rates.

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