House prices have risen in most areas but modest falls cannot be ruled out
The average British home now costs £291,029, over £3,900 more than last month. Yorkshire fared well with a 2.8 per cent rise year on year taking the average house price to £207,602 while Northern Ireland recorded the strongest growth across all the UK nations or regions with house prices increasing by 5.3 per cent between January 2023 and January 2024. Properties in Northern Ireland now cost on average £195,760, which is £9,761 higher than the same time in January 2023.
The North West saw a 3.2 per cent annual increase taking the average house price to £229,707 while the North East had a year on year rise of two per cent and now has an average house price of £169,505.
The South East saw the greatest downward pressure with values slipping by 2.3 per cent taking the region’s average price to £379,220.
The latest Bank of England figures show the number of mortgages approved to finance house purchases increased in December 2023, by 2.3% to 50,459. Year-on-year the December figure was 25.6% above December 2022.
The RICS Residential Market Survey results for December 2023 show another gradual improvement. New buyer enquiries balance improved to -3%, from -13% in November, with agreed sales improving to -6% from -10%.
"This is the fourth consecutive month that house prices have risen and, as a result, the pace of annual growth is now +2.5%, the highest rate since January last year.“The recent reduction of mortgage rates from lenders as competition picks up, alongside fading inflationary pressures and a still-resilient labour market has contributed to increased confidence among buyers and sellers.
"This has resulted in a positive start to 2024’s housing market. However, while housing activity has increased over recent months, interest rates remain elevated compared to
the historic lows seen in recent years and demand continues to exceed supply.
"For those looking to buy a first home, the average deposit raised is now £53,414, around 19% of the purchase price. It’s not surprising that almost two thirds (63%) of new buyers getting a foot on the ladder are now buying in joint names.
“Looking ahead, affordability challenges are likely to remain and further modest falls should not be ruled out, against a backdrop of broader uncertainty in the economic environment.”