Property market showing green shoots as we head closer towards Spring

Commenting on the ONS House Price Index which showed that house prices decreased by 0.2% between November and December 2022 on a seasonally adjusted basis, Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, said:

“Despite the brakes on house price growth, the market is showing green shoots as we head closer towards Spring. On an annual basis, sellers continue to be in a fortunate position, still able to achieve strong returns with the average house price £26,000 higher than a year prior. Positively for buyers, mortgage availability hit a six-month high in February with more than 4,000 deals available, returning to levels not seen since the mini-budget. This will be a welcome relief to a significant proportion of buyers who require a mortgage to complete their purchase, or had been put off from starting their search altogether. Even with the average mortgage rate remaining higher than recent years; currently the average two-year fixed rate is 5.36%* while if we look further back between 1995 and 2022 the average mortgage rate was 5.62%. This proves implicitly that mortgage rates since 2008 have been the exception, not the rule.

“Last week’s appointment of a new minister to oversee the housing brief, the 14th in 12 years, will be another adjustment for the market to contend with but we don’t expect an immediate impact to be felt. Michael Gove remains at the helm of the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, driving forward housing policy and a strategy for the future of the sector that should continue to provide a level of stability that the market has come to rely on.”