House prices dipped in April while sales rose

House prices dipped in April while sales rose
Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

The latest Zoopla House Price Index shows that UK house price growth remains broadly flat, dipping slightly by 0.2%.

The property portal said this has contributed to a “more balanced market, meaning more people have the chance of moving home in 2024”.

The number of sales being agreed is 12% higher compared to this time last year, leading Zoopla to expect 100,000 more sales in 2024 than in 2023 – totalling 1.1 million.

Mortgage squeeze

Despite the positive news, Zoopla said that high mortgage repayments are impacting buying power.

Mortgage rates remain around 4.5% compared to sub-2% in March 2021. Of course, these higher mortgage rates are adding to affordability pressures for buyers, which is putting downward pressure on house prices.

The average homebuyer using a 70% loan-to-value (LTV) mortgage has seen annual mortgage repayments rise from £7,100 to £11,400, said Zoopla.

Two-thirds of this increase is driven by higher mortgage rates, but a third is down to the fact that house prices have risen 13% over the same period.

Richard Donnell, executive director at Zoopla, said: “The rebound in sales being agreed continues for a fourth month as mortgage rates have fallen, consumer confidence improves and homebuyers have much greater choice of homes for sale. The pipeline of sales is growing and we expect 100,000 more people to move home in 2024 than last year.

“There is clear evidence that house prices are firming and the pace of price falls is slowing. We don’t believe that prices will start to rise, as buyers face much higher mortgage repayments than in the recent past. The market is adjusting to higher borrowing costs, and what we need is continued price stability, which will create the environment for continued growth in sales and home moves.

“It’s important sellers remain realistic on what they can achieve for their home.”

Related: Lower level of home sales recorded in March compared to last year