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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ruivivar

Zoopla Reports Market Boost, But Buyers Stay Price-Wary

Image credits: Towfiqu barbhuiya / Unsplash

Zoopla has just released its latest House Price Index and it's brimming with insights.

The housing market received a much-needed shot in the arm in February, thanks to lower mortgage rates.

Sales agreements were up a whopping 15% year-on-year in February, while the supply of properties for sale rose by a healthy 21%. Zoopla attributes this positive trend to falling mortgage rates, which have bolstered buyers' purchasing power.

The momentum in sales has been on an upward trajectory for five months now. If this trend continues, Zoopla predicts that the market is on track for a 10% increase in sales in 2024 compared to last year, totalling 1.1 million sales.

But let's not pop the champagne just yet. Despite these encouraging figures, Zoopla cautions that buyers remain cost-sensitive. Asking price reductions, though lower than last year, are still above average. The South East and East of England are seeing the greatest reductions of 5% or more.

The average estate agent is now agreeing to 6 new sales a month, up from 5.2 this time last year. However, this hasn't translated into a boost in property values. According to Zoopla, average property values are down 0.5% annually to £263,600.

Zoopla suggests a "three-speed" housing market is emerging. The Eastern, South East and South West regions (excluding London) are experiencing the largest annual falls. London remains the priciest, while the rest of the UK is seeing limited declines.

Richard Donnell, executive director at Zoopla, commented on the resilience of the housing market amidst higher mortgage rates and cost of living pressures. He remains optimistic about the market's prospects for 2024, but doesn't anticipate a further acceleration in house price growth.

So, while the market is showing signs of improvement, it's clear that buyers are still keeping a close eye on their wallets. As always, we'll keep you updated with the latest property market news. Stay tuned, property pros!

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