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A Snapshot of the 2024 Sales Market

*Courtesy of Zoopla

2024 marks a promising turnaround in the real estate market for R&G Property Bristol. The first three weeks of the year have witnessed a notable resurgence in housing demand and sales agreements, propelled by favourable sub-5% mortgage rates that are bolstering market activity.

Buyer demand has surged by 12% compared to the previous year, signalling a positive shift. However, it still stands 13% below the five-year average, which factors in the peak years during the pandemic (2021-2022).

This optimistic start reflects the release of pent-up demand following a subdued second half of 2023 when many buyers postponed their decisions amidst rising mortgage rates.

Sales agreed during the initial three weeks of January have experienced a remarkable increase of 13% compared to the same period last year, showcasing a positive trend that extends from the closing weeks of 2023. Notably, new sales agreed have risen by 13%, demonstrating growth across all countries and regions.

In particular, Yorkshire and the Humber lead with a substantial 19% increase, closely followed by the West Midlands with a notable 17% rise. This trend suggests a growing alignment between buyers and sellers on pricing, contributing to the overall market buoyancy.

The influx of homes listed for sale has also surged, indicating heightened confidence among sellers, many of whom are simultaneously in the market as buyers. Overall supply has seen a significant uptick of 22% compared to the previous year. On average, each estate agent now has 28 homes for sale, providing buyers with a broader selection and helping to maintain price stability.

The market's positive momentum is impacting pricing dynamics as well. The pace of annual price falls has slowed down, supported by improved market conditions and increased sales. In December 2023, our UK house price index recorded a modest annual price fall of -0.8%, a notable improvement from the -1.4% low in October 2023.

Regionally, the East of England and the South West have experienced the largest price falls at -2.5% and -2.2%, respectively. Northern Ireland, however, stands out as an outlier with a notable increase in house prices, up by 3.2% over the course of 2023. This positive shift reflects the resilience and adaptability of navigating the evolving real estate landscape in 2024.

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