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Home sales predicted to rise 10% this year

Home sales predicted to rise 10% this year
Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton
Posted:
01/03/2024
Updated:
04/03/2024

Momentum is continuing to grow in the housing market, with more sales expected this year than in 2023.

That’s according to Zoopla, which predicts 1.1 million home sales in 2024 compared to one million last year.

The property portal said that better market conditions have attracted more sellers, with 21% more homes for sale than a year ago. The North East and London have led the rebound in sales.

Buyer demand up

Buyer demand is also up, by 11% year-on-year, with sales agreed 15% higher.

The rise in activity has been put down to falling mortgage rates. However, despite widespread rate cuts in January, rates have plateaued in the last month, and there have been some increases.

Zoopla said that estate agents are currently agreeing an average of six new sales per month, compared to 5.2 this time last year.

What about house prices?

Annual UK house price inflation remains negative, but it has improved to negative 0.5% from a low of negative 1.4% in Oct 2023, according to the property portal.

It added that seven UK regions and countries recorded positive house price inflation, and five regions saw prices fall.

Zoopla identified a ‘three-speed’ housing market split between Southern England, London and the rest of the UK.

Regions in Southern England have registered the largest annual price falls. Rising mortgage rates and reduced household buyer power have hit these markets where prices are high compared to the rest of the UK.

London performs differently from the rest of Southern England, and has experienced a rebound in demand and low growth in the available supply of homes for sale.

In the rest of the UK, house price growth has slowed rapidly over the last 12 months, but annual price falls have been limited as affordability isn’t too stretched.

Richard Donnell, executive director at Zoopla, said: “The housing market has proved very resilient to higher mortgage rates and cost-of-living pressures. More sales and more sellers show growing confidence amongst households and evidence that 4-5% mortgage rates are not a barrier to improving market conditions.

“The momentum in new sales being agreed has been building for the last five months and the sales market is on track for 1.1 million sales over 2024 supported by new sellers coming to the market. While sales are set to increase, we don’t expect house price growth to accelerate further in 2024.”