Asking prices rise £4.5K in January, as demand jumps

Asking prices rise £4.5K in January, as demand jumps
Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

The housing market has started 2024 with a boost in activity from buyers and sellers.

Average new seller asking prices rose by 1.3 per cent in January comapred to December, said Rightmove.

That’s equivalent to a £4,571 increase, taking the average new asking price to £359,748, said the property portal.

It marks the biggest December to January increase in prices since 2020, although average prices remain 0.7 per cent lower than a year ago.

New year boost

Rightmove described the market in January as ‘tentatively promising’, as both buyer and seller activity jumped.

The number of new properties coming onto the market for sale was 15 per cent higher than in the same period last year.

And buyer demand in the first week of 2024 was also five per cent higher than in the same period last year.

In fact, since Christmas, Rightmove has recorded nine of its 10 busiest days on record for people getting a Mortgage in Principle to see what they can afford to borrow.

The number of sales agreed rose sharply year-on-year too, by 20 per cent.

Tim Bannister Rightmove’s director of property science, said: “After a stop-start market in 2023, the initial signs suggest a smoother year for movers in 2024.

“More new sellers are now entering the market, and with more confident pricing. While the increased level of buyer activity that we’re also seeing may justify some of this increased pricing confidence from sellers, it’s important that sellers who are keen to find a buyer don’t get carried away with New Year enthusiasm when setting their price expectations.

“Elevated mortgage rates and the wider cost-of-living squeeze are still limiting buyers’ spending power. Accurate and realistic pricing for their local area is the recipe for success for sellers looking to get moving in 2024, and it’s been proven that over-optimistic pricing makes a move much less likely.”