Land Registry HPI: Annual house price declines star to slow

Posted on Thursday, March 21, 2024

Annual house price declines slowed in January and values returned to growth on a monthly basis, Land Registry data shows.

The latest Land Registry House Price Index shows average prices continued to decline annually during January, down 0.6% to £281,913 - although this is a less steep drop than the 2.2% recorded in December 2023.

On a monthly basis, average prices were up 0.5% compared with a 1.1% drop a month before.

Annual house price inflation was highest in the North West, where prices increased by 1% in the 12 months to January 2024. London saw an annual drop of 3.9% over the same period.

However, on a monthly basis, average values in London were up 2.5%.

Commenting on the figures, Jason Tebb, president of OnTheMarket, said: "Property prices and transactions are picking up month-on-month as we head towards Spring, traditionally a busy time for the housing market as leaves are budding on the trees and gardens look more inviting.

“Good levels of confidence continue to prevail among buyers and sellers, with the encouraging fall in inflation fuelling hopes that the Bank of England will start cutting interest rates, if not this week, then at the next meeting.

“Mortgage rates are more palatable than last year but borrowers are having to get used to paying more for their home loans and remain price-sensitive. Properties which aren’t priced sensibly are unlikely to attract serious interest."

Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops, added: “The figures show that despite a subdued start to the year and extended winter lull, buyers and sellers are both demonstrating confidence in the market by recommitting to their searches. 

“Across the Jackson-Stops network in February we saw an uplift month-on-month in appraisals, listings and exchanges, as well as a consistent number of prospective buyer enquiries year-on-year. Regional hotspots for Jackson-Stops such as Barnstaple, Chelmsford, Newmarket and Sevenoaks, saw a significant uptick in new buyer enquiries compared to new instructions in February, demonstrating the demand for homes in popular commuter towns and rural hubs across England.
“Whilst affordability challenges do remain, with mortgage rates teetering up slightly in recent weeks and competitive deals staying on the market for just a matter of days, the mid-market and where committed buyers can press ahead with purchases is accelerating at pace. If our national office statistics are any indication, the Spring bounce will be upon the market in haste this year, allowing home movers who are keen to be in over the summer optimal choice and agility.”

Via @EstateAgentToday