The first few months of 2024 showed some promise for a housing market which is stabilising following a challenging period for buyers and sellers alike. So, with spring well under way, how is the property market faring at the moment?

Boost in buyers

Prospective buyers are continuing to return to the market, as the number of sales agreed is on the rise – there were 12% more agreed sales year-on-year in April1. According to Zoopla ‘The number of agreed sales has now been higher than the same time last year for four months running.’

Sellers returning

After fewer sales in 2022 and 2023 when mortgage rates increased substantially, Zoopla’s April data shows that the housing market is on track for 1.1 million completions in 2024, which is a 10% increase on last year.

Location, location, location

Different regions are still experiencing the market differently. House prices are continuing to fall across southern England, the East Midlands and the East of England, whereas market conditions have been improving across the North of England, West Midlands, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Faced with increased mortgage costs, some home buyers are searching further afield to get what they want at the right price ¬ – Zoopla’s latest consumer research shows that a third of households that want to move are looking to move out of their local area to secure their next home.

House prices stabilising

House prices appear to be stabilising; according to data published by Zoopla in April, the average national house price fell by a small amount of 0.2% year-on-year, to £264,500.

Fewer accepting discounts

So far this year, fewer homes are being sold with a discount – last November, the average discount on a property was £14,520. However, by the end of the first quarter of 2024, this had reduced to £10,0001. But price sensitivity does remain; it is currently taking 71 days to sell – the longest it has taken at this time of year since 20192. This suggests buyers are still proceeding with caution when choosing their next home.

What’s next?

Looking ahead to the rest of the year, experts do not envisage a dramatic rise in house prices, nor do they predict a significant fall. Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Property Expert, commented on the first quarter of 2024, “It’s been a positive first three months of the year for the market and better than many anticipated. However, we know from last year how quickly the picture can change with some negative economic news or surprises”.

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We know that it can sometimes be tricky to make sense of the ever-changing property market. We’re here to help you understand what it all means for you and your property plans.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage 

1 Zoopla

2 Rightmove