Rightmove says asking prices rise in encouraging start to 2024

Property portal Rightmove said asking prices rose in early 2024 as lower mortgage rates helped boost activity.

Average asking prices rose 1.3% between December and January but were still 0.7% lower than the same period a year ago.

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“The housing market is continuing to show determined resilience in the face of higher mortgage costs, with data from Rightmove showing that asking prices rose at the start of the year,” said Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets, Hargreaves Lansdown.

“They were 1.3% higher on January 6th compared to at the beginning of December, more than double the average increase for this time of year, showing that agents and sellers were looking more optimistic about demand. As some better mortgage deals have come onto the market, it’s starting to help thaw the deep freeze which had descended.”

There was little reaction in FTSE 350 housebuilders after the sector staged a strong rally in the fourth quarter.

“However, the data hasn’t moved the dial much in terms of the housebuilders’ share prices in early trade. They have already made significant gains in recent months as expectations of interest rate cuts have risen, and there is still uncertainty ahead about the prospects for the UK economy.”

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