Property industry reacts to Zoopla House Price Index

Posted on Monday, April 29, 2024

UK house prices appear to offer room for growth as the number of agreed sales grew 12% in the four weeks to 21 April compared to the same period last year.

According to the latest Zoopla House Prices Index (HPI), house price inflation remained down against the year in March despite improving consumer sentiment.

Average property prices were 0.2% lower year-on-year, the property listing website reported – a similar fall to the one recorded in the previous month’s HPI.

The data from the property portal compliment the recent HPIs from Rightmove and RICS, which both showed growing sales volumes and greater consumer confidence. But Zoopla warns that sellers must “remain realistic” when it comes to asking prices.

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 home buyers 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. ”

Reflecting on the data, Nathan Emerson, CEO of Propertymark, commented: “The housing market is still recovering from the economic turbulence of the last three years and is going through a process of correcting itself.

“Homebuyers’ confidence and their eagerness to move home is starting to show as more sales complete and our own Housing Insight Reports indicate how positive the market is starting to look, with an 18 per cent increase in new properties coming to the market.

“Approvals for remortgaging also increased, from 30,900 to 37,700 since February, according to the Bank of England’s Money and Credit report, meaning buying and selling a home is now becoming much easier and the easing in house prices is allowing wiggle room in people’s affordability. As interest rates remain unchanged, we now hope to see them drop soon in order to further incentivise people who are desperate to get onto the housing ladder of make their next move.”

Adam Feather, head of Robert Anthony Estate Agents, commented: “It has been a positive start to the year. But despite the improving conditions and greater optimism the market remains very price-sensitive. Those looking to secure a sale will still need to price realistically when listing their property in order to find a purchaser.”

Matt Thompson, head of sales at Chestertons, added: “The uplift in market activity typically associated with spring was slightly delayed this year but became more evident in the course of April. Compared to last month, we have seen an increase in the number of London house hunters which has led to sellers feeling more confident that now is the right time to put their property up for sale. Although buyer and seller numbers are both up, demand continues to outweigh supply which still gives sellers in the capital the upper hand during price negotiations.”

Via @PropertyIndustryEye