Home Estate Planning House sales on the rise despite steady uptick in mortgage rates

House sales on the rise despite steady uptick in mortgage rates

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House sales continued to tick upward in February as market confidence appeared to be unshaken by higher mortgage rates

A new report by property portal Zoopla showed a 21 per cent increase in the number of homes on the market compared to a year ago. 

The figures also showed estate agents nationally have agreed six sales a month compared to 5.2 a year ago.

Zoopla said it expected this uptick in activity to continue with 1.1m home sales expected this year, up slightly from 1m in 2023. 

Richard Donnell, executive director at Zoopla, said: ”The momentum in new sales being agreed has been building for the last five months and the sales market is on track for 1.1m sales over 2024 supported by new sellers coming to the market. 

“While sales are set to increase we don’t expect house price growth to accelerate further in 2024.”

It comes as the UK rate of house price inflation has slowed to -0.5 per cent, up from a low of -1.4 per cent last October.

In London, house prices fell by 0.8 per cent with the average cost of a pad coming in at £534k. This remains above the UK average of £263k. 

Nigel Bishop of buying agency Recoco Property Search said: “We have seen first-hand that buyer confidence has returned to some degree, particularly compared to this time last year. 

“Sellers have become more motivated to put their property up for sale which is resulting in buyers having a larger pool of properties to choose from.”

A generally positive attitude about the outlook for the UK’s housing market comes despite a steady increase in mortgage rate deals over the last few weeks. 

A challenging economic condition including news that the UK fell into a technical recession late last year, has driven up swap rates in recent weeks, which lenders use to price their mortgage deals. 

Donnell added: “The housing market has proved very resilient to higher mortgage rates and cost of living pressures. 

“More sales and more sellers shows growing confidence amongst households and evidence that 4-5 per cent mortgage rates are not a barrier to improving market conditions.”

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