Strong start to January property market in Southend, continues into February

Hunt Roche - News - February 2024

Strong start to January property market in Southend, continues into February

The property market in Southend appears to be experiencing a strong start in the first weeks of January, continuing into the first half of February. This momentum is attributed to falling mortgage rates and pent-up demand from the second half of 2023. The data indicates a significant increase in buyer demand, with a headline level up by 11% compared to the previous year.

The growth in buyer numbers is observed across all parts of the UK, with London leading the way, followed by the North East and North West regions. Despite historically lagging behind, London’s housing market is showing signs of improvement, with better value for money contributing to increased prospects. However, it remains an expensive market.

The overall health of the housing market is assessed by examining trends in the number of sales being agreed. Positive trends are noted, with almost a fifth more homes for sale compared to a year ago, providing buyers with more options and boosting the chances of sales being agreed.

Zoopla’s data indicates that sales agreed are up across all regions and countries of the UK, with more than a 10% increase in six regions, including London, the South East, and Yorkshire and Humber. Increasing market confidence is bringing more sellers into the market, leading to a 10% rise in the flow of new homes for sale compared to the previous year.

The average time for a sale in 2023 is reported to be 34 days, two weeks longer than the faster-paced market in 2022. Pitching the asking price at the right level is emphasized as crucial for attracting demand and getting a sale agreed. The longest sales periods are observed in London and the South East, while Scotland and the North East experience faster sales.

The impact of falling mortgage rates on buying power is noted, particularly in southern England, especially London. Despite rising activity, it is highlighted that the legal and mortgage process can take an additional 3-6 months after a sale has been agreed.

Looking ahead, the market is described as better balanced between sellers and buyers than it has been for three years. While finding a buyer is expected to be easier, the increased choice of homes for sale may provide greater room for negotiation. Sellers are advised to stay realistic despite reports of rising house prices.