ONS House Price Index comment from Jackson-Stops

Commenting on the ONS House Price Index which showed that the average UK house price was £285,000 in March 2023, £11,000 higher than a year ago, despite house prices falling 0.9% in March 2023 on a seasonally adjusted basis, Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, said:

“Despite a modest start to the year with the latest ONS stats on property prices showing a slight dip in March, more recent statistics in May from Rightmove paints a picture of marginal growth. Taking both into consideration, it is looking more likely that we will see house prices remain broadly stable in the months ahead, with parts of the market well placed for green shoots as we head into summer. The UK now avoiding a recession combined with a wider acceptance of current mortgage rates as the new normal, as well as low supply in some parts of the country, has allowed the market to show steady resilience.

“The Easter Holidays and triad of May bank holidays providing buyers with the opportunity to reignite their property searches should hopefully be reflected from next month. More broadly, buyers are benefiting from a market with more breathing room compared to just a year ago, when even a short delay could make or break a sale. The market this spring has felt more like a gentle meander, rather than a race to the finish line.

“For family buyers, the property market is at an optimum point in the year. The spring bounce has seen more properties enter the market after a lean start, with the school holiday window seeing a wave of sales agreed across our national network of branches.

“Property values in the mid- to high-end market are anchored by an overall lack of supply in some of the most popular areas in the country. Many of these are older cash buyers, less dependent on lending to finance their move, and equally prioritising the house and its location over monetary barriers. This means best in class homes still attract significant competition.

“Looking ahead, the housing market remains cyclical and while we are in a more difficult economic period, the fundamentals of supply and demand often ensure that it defies gravity.”