Even before the new year began, some home-sellers started to get their 2024 moving. Just one day after Christmas, on Boxing Day, we saw a record number of homes listed for sale. More than 10,000 new properties came to market, which is the biggest number of new sellers in one day since 2011.
Many sellers planned ahead to get their homes ready to put on the market in time to capture the new wave of interest from buyers from Boxing Day and into the new year. So if you’ve been looking for a home to buy, you’re likely to find you’ve now got more to choose from.
Visits to Rightmove nearly doubled between Christmas Day and Boxing Day. The level of demand from potential home-buyers, measured by the number of enquiries sent to estate agents about homes for sale, jumped too, and more than tripled ( 273%) from Christmas Day to Boxing Day. There were also 17% more buyer enquiries on Boxing Day than the year before.
Our property expert Tim Bannister says: “The scale of this year’s Boxing Day bounce is an early positive sign at the start of the year that buyers and sellers are out there and taking action, likely including some movers who had put their plans on hold last year.”
Though mortgage and interest rates are still high compared to recent historically low levels, mortgage rates have been edging down.
Our mortgage expert Matt Smith says: “Unless things change, the signs are positive that lenders will reduce rates further over the coming weeks. Combined with the early-year bounce in home-mover activity we’re starting to see, lenders who price more competitively can expect growing interest from those looking to take out a mortgage soon.”
The current average mortgage rate for a five-year fixed rate mortgage is 5.02%, down from 5.03% last week. The current average rate for a two-year fixed rate mortgage is 5.43%, down from 5.44% last week. And there are signs that lenders could reduce rates further over the coming weeks. Take a look at the average mortgage rates this week.
Last month, the average asking price of a home in Great Britain fell by 1.9% to £355,177. This year, we predict that average new seller asking prices will be 1% lower nationally by the end of 2024, as competition increases among sellers to find a buyer.
Tim adds: “While it is early days for the 2024 housing market, it will be key to monitor activity as it ramps up through the end of winter and into spring, particularly to track whether sellers are pricing attractively enough to agree a sale with a buyer quickly.”
Read more: Take a look at our 2024 house price forecast
If you’re selling a home in 2024, pricing will be key
In 2023, we saw lower-than-expected falls in asking prices, and good levels of demand from home-buyers for the right-priced homes. But if you’re thinking of selling your home in 2024, it’s going to be really important to price it competitively to give yourself the best chance to find a buyer more quickly.
With buyers having a wider choice of homes for sale in their area, they’ll be in a stronger position to negotiate on price and take more time to choose the home that’s right for them.
If you’re thinking about moving in 2024, a good way to find out how much you could borrow is to use a mortgage calculator. And to get a personalised result by applying for a Mortgage in Principle which will take you one step closer to a mortgage offer.