Property market following the usual seasonal playbook

House prices and stock levels appear to have settled into more familiar seasonal patterns, according to the latest market analysis from Home.

Related topics:  Property,  Housing market
Property | Reporter
18th December 2023
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Property market values have gone side­ways overall during the last year and having rallied over the summer, they edged down again in November (by 0.7%) in line with seasonal expectations.

According to Home.co.uk's Asking Price Index for December, annualised growth posts a positive figure (0.1%) for the first time in nine months. Limited stock for sale will support prices going forward.

The monthly supply of new instruc­tions remains modest and the total stock count of unsold properties on the market dropped significantly, as is typical before the festive season. While higher borrow­ing costs have severely dented demand, a market balance has been achieved through ower supply (down 8%, Nov 2023 vs. Nov 2018).

Typical Time on Market for unsold property confirms that the market has retained sufficient momentum overall.

However, at the regional level, Typical Time on Market figures indicate that the Midlands have slowed significantly when compared to their performance in 2018 and the North East and Scotland show vast improvement in marketing times over the same time frame.

Vig­orous northern markets remain signifi­cantly positive in terms of year-on-year price growth and are keep­ing abreast of inflation.

The sales market has benefitted from the phenomenal strength of the rental market since rents took off in the fourth quarter of 2021. However, rent growth has fallen back in several regions and overall rents are now falling across the UK, dragged down by the dominant Greater London region.

Moreover, this weakness appears to have spread into adjacent regions and the West Midlands over recent months. After a long period of scarcity, supply began to rise signifi­cantly in London earlier this year, quench­ing rent growth and forcing asking rents to be more competitive. Supply in the South East has already increased by 14% compared to a year ago.

UK rents hit their peak in early October this year and have since declined by 2.3%. The mix-adjusted average annualised rent rise for the UK has dropped from 9.7% in October to 6.1% in November to 5.3% this month. It is likely to head into the negative if supply continues to increase.

The annualised mix-adjusted average asking price growth across England and Wales is now 0.1%; in December 2022, the annualised rate of increase in home prices was 1.5%.

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