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April Property Market Analysis

3 months ago
April Property Market Analysis

Spring traditionally sees a peak in property interest and there are signs that this is definitely the season to move home. Many of the metrics we monitor are on the up, starting with asking prices. The figures show confidence among sellers continues to build.   

Rightmove’s monthly analysis revealed the UK’s average asking price has increased by 1.5% in the last four weeks. For comparison, the portal usually sees asking prices rise by an average of 1% in March. Bullish buyers asked for an extra £5,279, with the UK’s new average asking price settling at £368,118.  

Strong house price growth returns

Moving on to house prices based on mortgage lending to owner-occupiers. Nationwide’s March House Price Index showed the nation’s average house price was up 1.6%  when compared to this point last year. The average house price, however, fell 0.2% between February and March, now £261,142.  

Increases most prevalent in the North & Scotland

When comparing average house prices in Q1 2023 versus Q1 2024, every country saw growth. Nationwide’s figures showed overall prices in England were up 0.4%. Additionally, there was a 1.2% rise in Wales and Scotland saw an increase of 3.7%.  

March saw another round of rent increases across the UK. HomeLet’s March Rental Index put the UK’s average monthly rent at £1,273. This is an uplift of 0.9% when compared to February.   

Looking at individual areas, the North East saw the biggest rise, up 2.1%, followed by Yorkshire & Humberside at 2%. Scotland posted an increase of 1.4%, while Wales saw rents drop by 0.4%. The East Midlands was the only other area where rents fell – down 0.1%.  

In other March news, the Home Buyers and Sellers Group launched the fifth iteration of its Buyer’s and Seller’s Property Information form (BASPI). This initiative sees sellers provide upfront information to estate agents before the property goes on the market. While currently voluntary, the BASPI could become mandatory.  

The creators of the BASPI, including The Conveyancing Association, are heavily involved in a new inquiry launched in March by the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee. This cross-party investigation wants to improve England’s buying and selling process. One of the areas it will examine is the detail available to buyers at the start of the home search process.   

Upfront information key to reform

If the inquiry finds more upfront information will help simplify and speed up the sales process, the BASPI – or a similar form – may become a compulsory part of marketing. More upfront information should help buyers make more informed decisions and avoid unexpected surprises during the conveyancing process. It should also reduce fall through rates.  

Changes are also afoot in Scotland, with March seeing two new Bills introduced to the Scottish Parliament. The first was The Housing (Scotland) Bill. This had its first reading on 26th March and pertains exclusively to lettings.   

Reforms ahead for Scotland’s rental landscape

Among the Bill’s proposals are a rent cap, which would restrict how much a landlord could raise the rent by, if at all, as well as strengthening tenants’ rights to keep a pet in their property and decorate their home. The Bill also seeks to make it easier for tenants to delay an eviction and claim damages from their landlord for an unlawful eviction.   

Also introduced on the same day was The Land Reform (Scotland) Bill. This piece of legislation will affect how land is owned and managed in the country’s rural and island communities. Details include the possibility of large plots of land being divided up into smaller parcels for sale, and encouraging communities to use their ‘right to buy’ to purchase land that is for sale in their area.  

If you would like to know more about your local property market, please get in touch.

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