Property & Construction Daily

The Property & Construction Daily provides a sector-specific comment from leading analyst Alastair Stewart. His daily perspective provides a round-up of market statements, news, economics and views from the property and construction sectors.

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April 29, 2024

Economics – Prices steady as volumes head for 10% increase in 2024, Zoopla; Flat prices growing faster than other homes, Halifax

Economic data

Housing market. House prices were broadly flat this month but the rate of increase in volumes has started to accelerate, according to Zoopla’s latest UK House Price Index. Asking prices averaged £264,500 in April, -0.2% Y/Y, but +0.3% M/M. Sales volumes rose 12% Y/Y, up from +9% in March, and the fourth successive Y/Y increase, mirroring the recent increases in mortgage approvals (see below). The property portal is now predicting a 10% increase to 1.1 million in 2024 as a whole – an improvement on the ‘no change’ forecast it started the year with. 64% of homes sold this month are in markets with price falls, down from 82% last October. Annual mortgage costs for buyers are 61% higher than three years ago – with two-thirds of this increase due to higher rates and one-third due to higher prices. Buyers in Southern England face greatest impact, compounded by Stamp Duty and other costs. The biggest Y/Y rises in prices are: Northern Ireland (+4.4%); Scotland (+1.9%); and North East (+1.3%). The biggest falls were East of England (-1.7%) and South East (-1.6%).

House purchase mortgage approvals

In other news …

House prices. The smallest homes have seen the biggest increases in price, especially for flats, new research by Halifax has revealed, reported in Property Industry Eye. The findings, from Britain’s largest mortgage lender, and based on its monthly House Price Index, showed UK prices had grown 1.9%, or £5,318, year-on-year as of February 2024. But within the data, flats and terraced homes saw their value increase faster than semi-detached and detached homes. Flats saw the biggest jump in average value, rising 2.7%, or £4,290, to £163,016 compared to February 2023. Meanwhile, the slowest growth was recorded among semi-detached houses where average prices grew 1.7% (£4,797) to £295,199. In the year to February, the average price of a flat increased by 2.7%, while the average terraced property value rose by 2.6%, Halifax said. Prices for semi-detached and detached homes increased at lower rates, rising by 1.7% and 2.0% respectively. Across Britain, Scotland saw the strongest growth in prices for flats over the past year, with a 5.9% increase, Halifax said.

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