What is happening with Property Prices?

February, 2023

Asking prices see smallest February increase on record - Arlington Park Estate Agents Norwich

The busiest time of year for home moves is quickly approaching. In the spring, more people begin looking for a new house, and more homes are put up for sale. Estate agents in Norwich are about to get busier. 

At this time of year, we also typically see an increase in the average asking price. This is so that new sellers can set their home's price to appeal to buyers in a competitive market.

We can see what's going on in the housing market right now thanks to the Rightmove.co.uk monthly House Price Index, which compiles the most recent monthly data on asking prices in England, Scotland, and Wales. Prices have remained largely unchanged this month as new sellers haven't been raising asking prices. With only a £14 (+0.0%) increase, the average asking price of a home in Great Britain has risen to £362,452.

Despite the fact that this is the smallest January-to-February increase that Rightmove has ever seen, we see it as a sign of a more favorable housing market for home buyers in the coming year since we are not experiencing the sharp price declines that some were anticipating for this year.


Why have house prices remained steady this month?

The imbalance between supply and demand, with many more people looking to move than there were homes for sale, has been one of the major factors influencing the increase in home prices we've seen over the past two years.

We've had a fast-moving housing market for the past two and a half years, with cash buyers and multiple bidders vying for every home up for sale. Now, the market is beginning to settle down.

The good news is that there are more options and less competition now than there was a year ago, despite the fact that there is still a shortage of homes that are available for sale. In comparison to last year's record low levels, there are now 48% more homes available for sale.

Additionally, buyers have more time and space to ensure they find the ideal house in a slower market. In order to find the ideal buyer more quickly, estate agents advise home sellers to set a realistic asking price when they first list their property.

Rightmoves’ Director of Property Science and Innovation, Tim Bannister, says: “The big question this month was whether we’d see new sellers increasing their asking prices, which is what we usually see as we approach the spring selling season. This month’s flat average asking price indicates that many sellers are showing restraint when pricing their homes.

“We’re moving into a slower-paced market. Buyers will take longer to find the right home at the right price due to the higher cost of repaying a mortgage,” he adds.



The number of prospective homeowners has increased.

A lot of buyers are eager to make their moves. According to Rightmove and backed up by a number of estate agents in Norwich, the number of inquiries from prospective buyers has increased by 11% over the past two weeks when compared to the same time last year, when the housing market was last considered to be "normal."

After the ambiguity that followed the mini-budget, average mortgage rates also decreased. A five-year fixed mortgage with a 15% deposit would now have an average rate of 4.82%, down from 5.90% in October, according to the most recent data.

Tim says: “Estate agents are now reporting they’re increasingly seeing buyers who have more confidence and more choice, albeit with revised budgets to accommodate mortgage rates.”


First-time buyers are returning

Compared to the beginning of the year and the months after September's mini-Budget, there are more sales being agreed upon now. The rapid rise in mortgage rates was most detrimental to first-time buyers. Now, however, those who are willing and able to make a purchase are motivated to do so. This is probably influenced in part by expensive and rising rents.

“It’s a positive sign for the housing market to see many first-time buyers getting on with their moves. Average mortgage rates have edged down, but some first-time buyers will unfortunately still be priced out of their original plans. They may need to look for a cheaper property, save a bigger deposit, or factor higher monthly mortgage repayments into their budgets now,” says Tim.


At Arlington Park, our team is always here to help, so if you have any questions about selling your property, just call on 01603 577255 or email us on youragent@arlingtonpark.co.uk. We look forward to hearing from you!

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