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Updates on the UK property market

As 2024 heads toward the mid-year mark the UK property and rental markets have been influenced by GDP growth, election promises, unemployment rates and rising wages which are fuelling housing demand and price appreciation.

While the market lost momentum last year because of high mortgage rates and a lingering cost of living crisis, there are promising signs of it bouncing back. We break down the latest data below.

UK rental prices hit record highs

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that renting costs in the UK continue their upwards trajectory with average rents jumping by 9.2% in the year to March 2024, the largest annual increase since data collection began in 2015.

Driven by the ongoing UK supply and demand imbalance, the average rent for the United Kingdom in March was £1,246 - £104 higher than a year ago. Average monthly rent increases across the UK ranged from 8.8% in England through to 10.9% in Scotland and 9% in Wales. Unsurprisingly, London saw the biggest city increase overall at 10.6%.

The rising cost of renting has been a significant driver of change in the rental market, caused by soaring interest rates and landlords passing on their escalating expenses to tenants who are fighting over a small pool of rental properties. As the rental crisis continues to affect the market it is expected to be a hot topic for political parties and potential voters in the next general election.

That said, according to Zoopla landlords are receiving around 15 inquiries per property, around double the average number before the pandemic, making now an ideal time for buy-to-let investors to explore their property ambitions in the rental market further.

The housing market continues to recover

According to online sales portal Rightmove, asking prices for UK properties rose at the highest annual rate in 12 months, driven by more houses coming to market in the last year. The average asking price of homes put up for sale rose by 1.7% from a year ago to £372,324, close to the record high previously seen in May 2023.

This data indicates that Britain's housing market is experiencing a recovery in demand and prices, helped by a fall in borrowing costs which initially surged in 2022 when former Prime Minister Liz Truss's plans for sweeping tax cuts upset financial markets.

Prices sought by sellers have risen by 1.1% in month-on-month terms, slowing from a 1.5% increase in the previous four weeks. The number of new sellers was also 12% higher than a year earlier, and the overall number of sales was up by 13%, indicating a growing confidence among buyers.

With the continued month-on-month growth in house prices there are promising signs for the market in the run-up to spring, which is historically known for its higher demand from buyers and sellers. This shows increasing strength within the UK property market and signals a stabilising economy overall, meaning that now might be the time to move ahead with investment plans in the housing market.

Consulting with an industry professional is vital to ensure you move in the right direction for your personal financial and property goals, whether it be renting, buying or selling property in the UK. Tailor my Property’s expert network of property, finance and investment professionals will be able to assist you with assessing the market and moving ahead with peace of mind and clarity.


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