Early January Property update – and it’s not all doom and gloom

PUBLISHED: 18th Jan 2023

Activity in the UK Housing market picked up at the start of the January according to Rightmove, with cautious expectations of the lift continuing.

The property portal says that although it is early days there are some signs of positivity in the first few weeks in January with the number of prospective buyers up 55% compared with the two weeks before Christmas, with buyers contacting agents up 4% compared to a comparable period in 2019 – this is also the biggest New Year Bounce since 2016 after the extended lull at the end of the year.

The jump in demand helped to push up the average new seller asking prices by 0.9% (or £3,301 ) in January, the biggest increase at this time of year since 2020 as New Year sellers test the market, the property platform said. However, average asking prices are still lower than at their peak in October – enquiries are however lower than the buoyant market of this time last year.

Would be sellers jumped into action with 5th January the third busiest day ever for people asking agents to come out and value their home, an early sign of confidence for the year ahead.

The property portal On the Market stated that, although December is traditionally a quieter month, their data indicates that 60% of properties were sold stc within 30 days. This demonstrates that motivated vendors who priced their homes accurately were still able to transact, this figure is a considerable improvement on 42% in November after the market was rocked by the mini budget. This is also up on 53% the previous December at a time when the market was significantly more buoyant

On the Market also stated that fixed-rate mortgage pricing continues to edge downwards with several lenders reducing rates, this may help restore positivity in the market. Previous expectations of base rate peaking at 6% or even higher are now looking wide of the mark and with the Prime Minister vowing to bring inflation under control, buyers may be confident that the recent mortgage rate volatility is behind us.

Rightmove’s Tim Bannister said “these statistics based on the largest sample of any UK housing report gives reason for some positivity at the beginning of 2023. Given that the pause for Christmas came unexpectedly early last year, it was important to see whether buyers and sellers would pick up their plans again at the beginning of this year or wait to see what the first few months might bring.

‘The numbers certainly suggest that activity has bounced back after Christmas and agents will now be busy trying to match the likely revised expectations of buyers and sellers as we move towards the important Spring season.

‘We expect that the full effect of affordability constraints and last year’s mortgage rate rises will hold back some segments of the market in the first half of the year, but our leading market indicators may start to identify some green shoots of growth that will go on to strengthen the second half of 2023.”

David Phillip commented “Although it can be tempting to read too much into a couple of sets of data, if you thought nothing happened in December, then this wasn’t the case in 2022. It demonstrates yet again that there will always be those who need to move, but properties need to be priced effectively if there is going to be a realistic market for those who are serious about buying and selling in 2023 – taking advice from an experienced local agent who knows the local area inside and out is going to be more important than ever as the market moves against a backdrop of higher interest rates and a higher cost of living”

If you are considering selling your home and would like a free market appraisal call David Phillip FRICS on 01134 676 400, 86, Leeds Road, Bramhope, Leeds LS16 9AN w: davidphillip.co.uk

Covering Leeds, Bramhope, Adel, Cookridge, Pool-in-Wharfedale and Otley.

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