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Latest: March property market report

about 1 month ago
Latest: March property market report

With February concluded, we’re at a great point to measure the sentiment of the moving market. There are several reports that suggest optimism is building, especially in the sales sector. The first piece of analysis has just been released by Rightmove.  

The portal found a record number of future sellers are contacting estate agents to request a valuation. In fact, requests were +23% higher in January 2024, when compared to the same month in 2023. Rightmove cites a stable mortgage market for the uptick in activity.  

Removal requests reflect success

While valuation requests indicate a move is possible, booking a removal company is confirmation that someone has almost certainly been successful in securing a new home. A new report from Compare My Move discovered removal enquiries had increased by +70.8% between December 2023 and January 2024. The comparison site says the surge has been parallel to an increase of over 110% in conveyancing enquiries.  

More sales agreed, more buyer enquiries

Rightmove’s February House Price Index also painted a buoyant picture, thanks to a number of statistical increases. The average new seller asking price has risen by +0.9% in the last month, with asking prices now up +0.1% annually. Also up was the number of agreed sales in the first six weeks of 2024 – now +16% higher than over the same period in 2023.   

The portal’s figures also suggest early momentum is being sustained. Its February report showed +7% more new listings came to market during the month when compared to the same period last year. Its analysis also revealed a +7% increase in the number of buyer enquiries.  

Zoopla also used February to give its verdict on 2024’s housing market so far. Its headline statistic claims buyer demand is running +11% higher now than at the same time last year. It also says there are almost a fifth more homes for sale now than 12 months ago.  

Additionally, Zoopla found that it’s becoming quicker to sell a home. In 2023, the average sale took 34 days – from the property first being launched to the market to a sale being agreed, subject to contract. Now, in 2024, the process is a day quicker at 33 days.  

How about the rental sector? Zoopla has called the peak of the UK’s lettings market, noting that rental growth has slowed to single digits. In the last year, the average rent has risen by an average of +8.3%. This puts the average rent at £1,220 per month.  

Rental values run cool

HomeLet also crunched its numbers to work out the UK’s latest average monthly rent. Its figures were very similar to Zoopla’s at £1,260 per month, with an annual change of +7.5%. HomeLet has, however, registered a fall in rental values between December 2023 and January 2024 – with values decreasing 0.6%.  

Those looking to invest in property will find borrowing has got cheaper. Analysis by Moneyfactscompare.co.uk has found buy-to-let mortgage rates are at their lowest since September 2022. According to its data, a five-year, fixed-rate buy-to-let mortgage at 60% loan to value can be secured for 4.87%. Big news to come in the Budget?

In England, all eyes now turn to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who will deliver the Budget on 6th March (Scotland and Wales’ Budgets were delivered in December 2023). There are hopes of a change to stamp duty, with some calling for cheaper rates for those who are downsizing. There’s also a suggestion another stamp duty holiday could boost the market.

Other anticipated Budget announcements that could affect the property sector include a return of the Help to Buy scheme (or the introduction of something similar) and more incentives for those buying brand new homes. Periphery changes that may also provide a boost include a reform of inheritance tax and potentially an amendment to income tax paid by landlords.

If you would like to know more about your local property market, please get in touch.

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