Property prices tick up in January: Rightmove


There was a 0.9% rise in house prices on a monthly basis in January, says Rightmove.

This comes off the back of two monthly price drops in a row and gives an annual rise of 6.3%, leaving the average property asking price at the start of 2023 at £362,438.

Additionally, Rightmove reports the number of would-be buyers contacting agents being up 4% on January 2019, while the number of people looking to buy contacting estate agents was 55% higher than the two weeks before Christmas 2022, making for the biggest ‘New Year bounce’ for this metric since 2016.

And 5 January, the data adds, was the third-busiest day on record for people booking valuations for their homes.

Rightmove director of property science Tim Bannister says: “[These] numbers certainly suggest that activity has bounced back after Christmas and agents will now be busy trying to match the likely revised expectations of buyers and sellers as we move towards the important spring season.

“We expect that the full effect of affordability constraints and last year’s mortgage rate rises will hold back some segments of the market in the first half of the year, but our leading market indicators may start to identify some green shoots of growth that will go on to strengthen in the second half of 2023.”

Meanwhile, Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown “After two months of falling asking prices, it’s tempting to see this as a change of market dynamics, but that’s likely to be unrealistically optimistic. January always tends to see a bounce in the market, as people decide to make change in the new year, so this may just be a blip.

“Higher asking prices feel like a positive indication, but it’s not a concrete change. It’s worth bearing in mind that Zoopla figures at the end of December showed that sellers were accepting an average discount of 4% on their asking price, so this could just be a flurry of optimism that ends in disappointment and price cuts.

“The return of more buyers is worth keeping an eye on. It may be that some of those who fled the market when mortgage rates went through the roof have been persuaded to come back as those rates have come down from the peak.

“The return of buyers could mean house price falls aren’t quite as bad as had been predicted. However, equally, this could be a brief moment of New Year optimism, which vanishes on contact with reality and dissipates before any sales materialise.”

Related post