UK house prices rise in February

House prices

According to Rightmove’s latest house price index, average new seller prices rose by 0.9% on the month, or 0.1% year-on-year

House prices strengthened in February, industry data showed on Monday, as mortgage rates continued to drop.

According to Rightmove’s latest house price index, average new seller prices rose by 0.9% on the month, or 0.1% year-on-year.

It is the first time the annual price change has entered the positive territory after six months of declines.

In January, prices advanced 1.3% on the month but dropped 0.7% year-on-year.

The average asking price is now £362,839.

Agreed sales in the first six weeks of 2024 climbed 16% on the same period a year earlier. There were also rise in new listings and buyer enquiries, both up 7% year-on-year.

Tim Bannister, director of property science at Rightmove, commented: Early-bird Boxing Day buyers got a head start in cherry-picking from a record level of new property options and have now been joined many other buyers also believing that 2024 offers the right market conditions to move.

Mortgage rates have dropped significantly from their peak and are now staying broadly stable after the uncertainty of late 2022 and 2023, he said.

He added: Momentum to move in 2024 is continuing to build.

Nonetheless, Rightmove noted that the market remained particularly price-sensitive, with cheaper homes selling faster than higher-priced properties.

On average it is taking over two weeks longer to find a buyer than it was this time last year. Stripping out the pandemic, the average time to sell is its slowest since 2015.

The BoE raised the cost of borrowing 14 times as it looked to tackle soaring inflation, to 5.25%.

However, it has left rates unchanged since August and most analysts agree the next move will be a cut.

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