House Prices See Notable Increase in January, Fueling Optimism in the Property Market

The UK housing market kicked off 2024 with a notable rise in house prices, marking a 1.3% increase in January—this being the fourth consecutive month of growth. The annual growth rate has reached 2.5%, the most substantial seen in the past year, with the average house now priced at £291,029, up by £3,924 from the previous month. Northern Ireland leads with the strongest annual growth at 5.3%, while the South East faces challenges, witnessing a 2.3% decrease.

Kim Kinnaird, Director at Halifax Mortgages, shared insights on the recent trend: “The average house price in January was £291,029, up +1.3% or, in cash terms, £3,924 compared to December 2023. This marks the fourth consecutive month of growth, pushing the annual rate to +2.5%, the highest since last January. The drop in mortgage rates, easing inflationary pressures, and a resilient job market have bolstered confidence, making a positive start to the year. However, the high interest rates and the demand-supply gap pose challenges, with the average first-time buyer deposit now at £53,414, prompting 63% of new buyers to purchase jointly.”

Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham and Reeves, optimistically stated, “2024 is shaping up as a promising year for the UK property market, evidenced by continuous price increases and a surge in market activity. We anticipate values to further increase as the market momentum builds.”

Echoing this sentiment, Verona Frankish, CEO of Yopa, remarked, “The recent positive shifts in monthly and annual house price growth are encouraging signs of market recovery. With interest rates potentially peaking, we foresee a balanced enthusiasm among buyers and sellers, expecting the market momentum to strengthen throughout the year.”

Jason Harris-Cohen, CEO of Open Property Group, highlighted the resilience of the property market amidst economic uncertainties, “The property market has shown robust growth, with the highest annual growth rate in a year. The stable interest rates are likely to bolster homebuyer confidence, and any future rate cuts could significantly stimulate the market.”

Ruth Beeton, Co-Founder of Home Sale Pack, pointed out the impact of remortgaging trends, “Despite high interest rates, there’s an uptick in mortgage approvals, driven by remortgagers taking advantage of stabilized rates. However, first-time buyers still face hurdles, although potential government interventions could invigorate the market and support house price growth.”

The UK property market’s early 2024 performance signals a cautiously optimistic outlook, with interest rates and economic factors playing critical roles in shaping future trends.

Halifax has published its house price index for January: january-2024-halifax-house-price-index.pdf