Housing Insight Report: January 2024

The new year has arrived and those who had delayed moving at the end of last year have returned to the market on mass. However, there has been little change in the economic environment that households must contend with. Interest rates are stable but are higher than those seeking mortgages or re-mortgages would prefer and inflation remains some way off UK Government targets.

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This report is based on responses to a monthly survey of Propertymark member agents. The analysis is based on data provided by around 100 sales and 100 letting agents across the UK.

Residential sales

UK house prices increased marginally in December 2023

UK house prices increased marginally in December 2023. This is largely due to increases in England and Wales. Prices in Scotland fell back slightly in comparison to the previous month. Our data highlights the change in the average house price between December 2022 and December 2023 for each constituent part of the UK. Whereas there are notable falls in England and Wales during the period, Scotland and Northern Ireland have seen gains.

Prospective buyer numbers rebound after Christmas fall

The average number of new prospective buyers registered per branch increased by 120% in January following a considerable fall in December. However, although activity is marginally up in comparison to 2023, it is more subdued than in 2022.

Residential lettings

Tenant demand increases

The number of new prospective tenants registered per member branch increased from 63 in December 2023 to 97 in January 2024. Stock levels have also improved following the Christmas period and now stand at an 18-month high.

19% growth in number of tenancies

Now that Christmas has passed, tenants are once again keen to move. This has resulted in the average number of new tenaces agreed per member branch increasing in January 2024, albeit at a slightly lower level than in January 2023. 

Almost half of agents point to rental charges levelling out. However, there has been an increase in the number reporting rising rents over the previous month (39% in January 2024 versus 35% in December 2023). There has also been a decrease in the number reporting rent falls (11% versus 15%). 

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