Properties 'flying off the shelves' amid rising positive market sentiment

Prices were hiked again across English and Welsh regions during last month, indicating increasing positive sentiment.

Related topics:  Property,  Housing Market
Property | Reporter
19th April 2024

Positive trends in all key indica­tors underline the fact that the UK prop­erty sales market has recovered from interest rate shocks and is proceeding apace, according to the latest insight from

Properties are moving through the market more rapidly overall than was observed in pre-COVID years. Con­fidence has risen significantly following the rebalancing of supply and demand, as demonstrated by a return to modest year-on-year price growth overall.

While price growth is to be expected during spring, the size of the price rises in several regions surpasses the norm. Confident vendors in the South West and Yorkshire hiked prices so much during the last month that the mix-adjusted average rose by 1.7% and 1.6% respec­tively.

Moreover, they are not alone, as the North East, Wales, and West Midlands also show month-on-month price hikes above 1%. Such rapid price hikes may not be entirely justified by current demand, although given the fact that the typical Time on the market for unsold property is now lower than it was in April 2019, there is some cause for confident pricing.

Positive market sentiment has trig­gered a rise in new instructions. The total of new market entrants during the last month is 12% higher than a year ago, affording greater choice for buyers.

Demand is also increasing as previously hesitant homebuyers return, comforted by price stability and the probable end to rising interest rates. As we stated last month, pent-up demand will be a key driver of pricing this year.

The North/South divide persists in terms of price growth. Northern regions are steadily adding to their already posi­tive annualised growth figures while the South is slowly recovering ground lost over the last twelve months.

The East of England, East Midlands and the South West are still in negative territory but, notably, London just managed to return to positive year-on-year growth this month by the smallest of margins.

Asking rents continue to show pos­itive annualised growth in all regions except Greater London and, perhaps surprisingly, Wales. Asking rents con­tinue to indicate year-on-year losses in the UK's largest rental market, although a spring boost has lessened the loss to -4.8% from last month's mix-adjusted average which was -6.9% year-on-year.

Wales slipped into negative territory this month (-0.1%) despite supply being rel­atively steady. Meanwhile, the North East remains the regional growth leader with a year-on-year rise of 17.1% in the aver­age rent and is the only region apart from Scotland to show a contraction in supply.

UK asking rents are currently 2.8% above their April 2023 reading.

The annualised mix-adjusted average asking price growth (sales) across Eng­land and Wales is now 0.8%; in April 2023, the annualised rate of increase of home prices was -0.3%.

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