House Price Index – April 2023

PUBLISHED: 28th Apr 2023

According to Rightmove, the average price of property coming to the market has risen this month by an average of 0.2% (+£890), this is lower than the average at this time of year but is a reflection on new sellers heeding their agents’ advice to price realistically to tempt the Spring buyers.

Despite the economic headwinds, first-time-buyer type properties hit a new record price of £224,963 this month. Because the rental market is facing record rents, buying is still a compelling for those first-time buyers who are able to clear the deposit and mortgage hurdles.

The average first-time-buyer mortgage rate for a 5-year fixed with a 15% deposit mortgage has now fallen to 4.46%, with the lowest rate for this mortgage type currently at 4.19%.

Sales numbers have recovered to be in line with the more normal pre-pandemic market of March 2019, and have also exceeded last September’s level, after which they plunged by 21% following the Mini-Budget aftershocks. The agreed sales volumes are so far defying the expectations of many, which is positive.

In Yorkshire and Humberside the monthly average price increase has risen by 1.2% and 3.9% year on year.

Agents are reporting that many sellers have transitioned out of the frenzied multi-bid market mindset of recent years and understand the new need to tempt Spring buyers with a competitive price. The current unexpectedly stable condition is likely to tempt more sellers to enter the market who had been considering a move in the last few years but have been put of by its frenetic pace. Buyers may have struggled to find a home that suited their needs in the stock-constrained market of recent years and will now find more choice available. However, those who have decided to make a move, should not wait around too long to make an enquiry if they see the right home for sale, as not only is the number of sales agreed now back to pre-pandemic levels, but homes are also on average selling more quickly than there were at this time in 2019.

On the Market expect 500,000 sales completions in the first half of 2023 which means that the market is on track for potentially over 1m sales in 2023 – sales activity is being supported by 65% more homes for sale compared to march 2022 and falling mortgage rates.

While mortgage rates have fallen back towards 4% for new loans, the average homebuyer still has 20% less buying power than a year ago, this however doesn’t mean that that house prices are falling anywhere near this amount it does mean buyers are seeking out better value-for-money.

Zoopla observed the motivations for home moves continue to support activity. They state that there is some upside to the outlook for sales completions over 2023 with factors supporting the desire to move.

Working from home 1-2 days a week is becoming the norm for many office-based workers, a shorter commute is no longer so important so people can look further afield for a home than has been the case in the past.

The spike in retirement caused by the pandemic is also a trigger for home moves. At the same time, cost-of-living pressures will continue to encourage some to down-size from larger homes that are more expensive to run.

The market is going through a soft re-pricing process but arguably, the market is more in balance than at any time for the last three years. The positive news is that buyers and sellers are agreeing sales to support an increase in sales activity. There is no evidence of a major mismatch between buyers and sellers that would suggest house prices and transaction volumes are going to suddenly drop lower.

David Phillip commented “the beginning of the Spring market has been a real turning point in terms of house sales, both buyers and sellers appear to have adapted and accepted the current economic and property market conditions. There are now more attractive fixe rate mortgages available, providing buyers with more confidence, and there has been a noticeable increase in sales activity in the North Leeds area”.

If you are considering selling your home, and Spring is one of the best times to move, call David Phillip FRICS on 01134 676 400.

David Phillip Estate Agents, 86, Leeds Road, Bramhope, Leeds, LS16 9AN w: davidphillip.co.uk e-info@davidphillip.co.uk

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

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