The property sales market has made a remarkable recovery during the first weeks of 2024 including a 12% rise in buyer demand and a 13% increase in sales agreed, Zoopla has revealed.
The portal says this strong seasonal bounce-back in sales market activity has been boosted by pent-up demand from the end of 2023 and mortgage rates dropping below 5% since Liz Truss’s disastrous fiscal experiment two years ago.
The improvement in sales agreed has been caused by vendors cutting their prices to attract buyers so agents should expect more indices reporting downward prices, but the strategy is working particularly in Yorkshire and The Humber where sales agreed are up 19% and the West Midlands (+17%), the South West (14%), Scotland (14%) and even in London (+13%).
The overall supply of homes for sale is also growing , indicating more confidence among sellers, says Zoopla, and the overall supply of homes on the market is 22% higher than last year.
The average estate agent has 28 homes for sale, enhancing choice for buyers and a trend that the portal expects to keep house prices in check.
Richard Donnell, Executive Director at Zoopla says: “It’s a positive start to the year with all key measures of housing activity higher than a year ago.
“The fall in mortgage rates has led to a rebound in buyer demand and sales following a weaker second half of 2023 when many movers put decisions on hold.
“This improvement in activity will support sales volumes which, at one million, reached an eleven year low in 2023.
“We don’t see these trends as a precursor to higher prices in 2024 as it remains a buyer’s market.”
Tom Ashwood, MD of London agent Tom Ashwood Real Estate says: “We have most certainly seen a spike in activity across all prices ranges from a buyer enquiry perspective in the early part of 2024 and alongside that there are more sellers looking to list their property, with both exceeding our internal expectations for January.”