This is the busiest season of the year for the housing market. Home-hunters often wait until spring to start their search, and this is the time of year we start to see more properties listed for sale.
Sellers tend to price their homes higher at this time of year because it’s a more competitive market for buyers. And this means average asking prices typically rise.
Our monthly House Price Index has the most up-to-date monthly data on asking prices in England, Scotland and Wales, so we’re able to see what’s happening in the housing market right now. It also includes average prices for every region.
This month, house prices in Great Britain have risen by 0.8%, to £365,357, just below the average monthly price rise of 1% that we’ve seen at this time of year for the past two decades. The slightly lower increase in March suggests some home-sellers are being careful not to overprice their homes in the more settled housing market we’re seeing now.
What if you’re thinking of moving soon?
More people are getting ready to move, with buyer demand up by 6% compared the same period in the more normal housing market of 2019.
Our property expert, Tim Bannister, says: “The beginning of the spring season sees a more settled market as it recovers from the turbulence at the end of 2022.”
And these positive signs may mean that those who put off moving home during the incredibly busy housing market of 2021, and part of 2022, are now ready to make a move.
“Higher mortgage rates and wider economic factors have raised challenges for some home-movers. Many faced bidding wars for homes during the past two years, but this slower-paced market now gives people time to plan and secure their next move as we enter the traditionally busy spring-buying season,” Tim adds.
If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, an expert local agent who really knows what’s happening in your area can help you to set the right asking price for the current market.
First-time buyers are back
The fall-out from September’s mini-budget, and the sharp and sudden rise we saw in mortgage rates, hit first-time buyers the hardest. But as mortgage rates have dropped from their October peak, and started to level out, sales agreed on first-time buyer homes (properties with two bedrooms or fewer) are improving the most out of all property types, when compared to the more normal market of 2019.
If you’re looking to buy your first home, there are several things you can do to get yourself prepared. You can check how much homes have actually sold for in the area you’re looking to move to. You can also use a mortgage calculator to find out how much you could borrow with a mortgage. And when you find the home you want to buy, you could get to view it faster than other buyers if you already have a Mortgage in Principle in place.