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Published on : April 23, 2024 10:17

Does Rightmove’s House Price Index Indicate a ‘Spring Revival’ for the UK’s Property Market?

As Rightmove announces its April House Price Index findings, industry leaders have been reacting to news that the average asking price of properties coming to market is approaching a record high. According to Rightmove, the average asking price for properties increased by 1.1% (+£4,207) this month to £3,72,324. This is just £570 less than Rightmove’s recorded peak in May 2023. For the North West of England, the average monthly change in house prices has been +1.0%, while the year-on-year change has been +2.9%.

The latest rise in average house prices has helped to push the current annual rate of price growth to a 12-month high of +1.7%.

Is Buyer Demand for Property Growing?

The report indicates that the number of sellers coming to market is up 12% compared to the same period last year, with the number of sales being agreed upon also increasing by 13%. While this is great news for sellers who have been waiting for the property market to rebound following last year’s subdued Spring, it should be noted that the strongest driver for price growth has been within the ‘top-of-the-ladder sector’ for the largest homes.

House prices for top-of-the-ladder properties have grown by +2.4% annually, while prices for first-time buyers and second-steppers have grown by +1.0% and +0.9% respectively.

This is partly because first-time buyers and those progressing to their second home, whose transactions are more mortgage-dependent, remain highly price-sensitive in the face of higher interest rates and uncertainty over when they might fall.

“The top-of-the-ladder sector continues to drive pricing activity at the start of the year, with movers in this sector typically less sensitive to higher mortgage rates, and more equity rich, contributing to their ability to move. While some buyers, across all sectors, will feel that their affordability has improved compared to last year due to wage growth and stable house prices, others will be more impacted by cost-of-living challenges and stickier than expected high mortgage rates,” says Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Science.

“Despite these factors, it has been a positive start to the year in comparison to the more muted start to 2023. However, agents report that the market remains very price-sensitive, and despite the current optimism, these are not the conditions to support substantial price growth. Sellers who are keen to secure their sale will still need to price realistically for their local market and avoid being overambitious at the start of marketing to give themselves the best chance of finding a buyer.”

As we’ve seen throughout 2024, the property market remains more resilient than many had predicted, with the caveat that homeowners should continue to price their homes realistically if they want to agree on a sale.

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A Cautiously Optimistic Market Revival

Despite price friction from cautious home buyers and the potential of pre-election jitters, property sellers appear determined to bring their homes to market. This optimism appears justified, with the number of agreed sales rising alongside the number of homes hitting the market annually, meaning buyer demand is strong even with higher interest rates.

It could be argued that the strong performance of the top-end of the property market has driven the overall trend towards house price growth (and it will be interesting to see how upwardly mobile movers looking to enter this market can be), but even buyers squeezed by the cost of living and higher interest rates continue to buy property, helping to grow house prices at a modest rate – something that many would not have thought likely at the beginning of 2023

How to Sell Your Property

Edward Mellor has been helping clients buy and sell property across Stockport, Manchester, Tameside and Cheshire for over 40 years. Moving may seem like a complicated task but with our honest and professional guidance, we can develop a marketing strategy to sell your home quickly while achieving the best price.

Having an accurate valuation and an agent who understands their local market and access to thousands of invested buyers is key to selling your property. A free valuation with Edward Mellor is a great way to start your property journey and once you decide to instruct us, we’ll move quickly to take your home from FOR SALE to SOLD.

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Related Pages

Book a Valuation | How to Sell | Sell at Auction

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