Yorkshire town tops the UK chart for annual house price growth and property predictions for 2024

Zoopla’s latest House Price Index has revealed that house price decline is now more widespread across the country. The impact of higher mortgage rates and cost of living pressure is impacting property values and weaker demand and reduced buying power have resulted in a rapid cooling of house price growth from 9.2 per cent a year ago to -1.1 per cent today. This is the most dramatic slowdown in price growth since 2009

However, the Halifax postcode area, which has a host of attractive villages, including Hebden Bridge, is bucking the trend and is topping the UK table for annual house price growth with a rise of 3.6 per cent.

The HX area’s profile has been boosted by TV series including Gentleman Jack and Happy Valley and the Piece Hall and its events, which have also brought people into the area.. Those who work in Manchester but who crave a more rural lifestyle have also headed to the area, which has good road and rail links to the city thanks to proximity to the M62 and a train service that takes about half an hour.

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The proportion of the property market seeing a fall in value in London, the South East, South West and and the East is 100 per cent, in the East Midlands 83 per cent of the market has seen a decline in price and in Yorkshire it is 81 per cent.

Halifax tops price growth chartHalifax tops price growth chart
Halifax tops price growth chart

Faring better are the North East where 58 per cent of the market has seen a decline and the North West where the figure is 56 per cent. Scotland has fared best with a 38 per cent fall. The scale of house price falls is limited to low single digits with the largest annual falls registered in commuter towns around London and across the South East.

The UK has seen a 23 per cent average decline in sales compared to this time last year and Zoopla believes housing transactions will stay flat at 1m in 2024, although this could improve if mortgage rates drop back towards four per cent over the first half of 2024. This would support a modest rebound in activity in the first half of 2024 as people who have delayed moving decide to return to the market.

First-time buyers are on track to be the largest buyer group in 2023, closely followed by cash buyers who will account for one in three sales in 2023.

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Looking to 2024, Zoopla say that cash buyers will remain an important buyer group alongside first-time buyers who will continue to be pushed into buying by the rapid growth in rents.

Upsizers are the group most sensitive to higher mortgage rates as they tend to buy bigger homes which require larger mortgages. The risks of big price falls are abating as a reason not to move but higher mortgage rates remain the most important factor. Lower mortgage rates would bring more upsizers in the market in 2024 and support overall sales volumes. However, with mortgage rates looking like they will stay higher for longer, Zoopla analysts say upsizers need to be more flexible in what they want to buy