New research reveals how common annual house price drops actually are

Despite the doom and gloom of 2023's property market, house prices are still expected to climb on an annual basis.

Related topics:  Property,  house prices,  house price growth
Property | Reporter
16th January 2024
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"Given this market rebound and the fact that the economy is now starting to turn a corner, it’s quite astonishing to see the likes of JLL, Knight Frank and Savills predict a drop in house prices for 2024"
- Jason Ferrando - easyMoney

Research by easyMoney has analysed historic UK house price data from the Land Registry going back over the last five decades, looking at how the market performed each year between January and December since 1974.

2023 was a difficult year for the UK economy, and this had a knock-on effect on the housing market that saw price growth cooling and many experts predicting significant property value reductions before the year’s end.

But these significant drops are yet to materialise. In fact, Land Registry data shows that between January and October of 2023 (latest available data), UK prices did not fall but instead increased by 0.6%.

Last week, the latest Halifax House Price Index also revealed that house prices finished the year on a high, climbing by 1.7% in 2023. While these figures are based on mortgage approval data, rather than sold prices like the Land Registry, the latest Bank of England data for November 2023 also recorded a second consecutive increase in mortgage approvals last week.

With numerous signs of a market revival already appearing, it suggests that when the Land Registry's December sold price data is published in mid-February, sold prices will have also finished 2023 at a higher point than they started in January.

The analysis of historic market performance conducted by easyMoney also suggests that this is likely to be the case.

In fact, since 1974, the UK property market has only registered annual house price drops on four occasions, versus 46 years of positive growth.

Furthermore, these price drops have only exceeded -1% on two occasions - first during the financial crisis of 1992 (-5.8%) and then again as a result of the global banking crisis in 2008 (-13.4%).

In contrast, 2002 ranks as the strongest year for property prices, with the average UK house price increasing by 28.8% between January and December.

Jason Ferrando, CEO of easyMoney says: “When analysing property market performance over the last half a century, the undeniable strength and resilience of the UK housing market is clear to see.

"In fact, it’s taken a global financial crisis to have even put a dent in the market and we fully expect 2023 to finish on a high despite the numerous challenges faced in what was a turbulent year.

"Given this market rebound and the fact that the economy is now starting to turn a corner, it’s quite astonishing to see the likes of JLL, Knight Frank and Savills predict a drop in house prices for 2024.

"However, it’s not uncommon and it certainly isn’t the first time we’ve seen such doom and gloom predictions at the start of the year, only for them to be consistently revised over the coming months as the property market continues to prove them wrong.”

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