Property industry reacts to Zoopla House Price Index

Nathan Emerson

UK buyer demand is up 11% year-on-year, while the number of sales agreed has increased 15% during the same period across all regions and countries of the UK.

The figures, provided by Zoopla, shows that that the North East and London has led the rebound in new buyer demand.

Meanwhile, the supply of homes for sale is 21% higher than a year ago – a further sign of greater confidence amongst vendors, whilst also increasing choice for purchasers.

To add, estate agents agreed six new sales a month, versus 5.2 a year earlier.

Property industry reactions:

Nathan Emerson, CEO at Propertymark, commented: “It’s encouraging to see a year on year momentum within the housing market and these figures should encourage people who were hesitant about selling their home to consider their move. Though interest rates have not started to fall yet, the Bank of England’s last Monetary Policy Committee meeting should give people confidence as they now know that their borrowing costs are unlikely to increase. If inflation falls as expected, we hope that the Bank of England will consider cutting interest rates which will help ease the financial strain placed on the nation.” 


Simon Gerrard, managing director of Martyn Gerrard estate agents, said: “Whilst the housing market might not be back to full speed just yet, it is certainly accelerating, which is shown in both the figures today and the activity that we’re seeing first hand. The surge of 21% more homes on the market is a really encouraging sign, and this is being met with far greater buyer confidence. The 11% increase in buyer demand definitely chimes with the uptick in buyer enquiries that we’ve received, with people encouraged to progress with their property search by lenders bringing interest rates down.

Simon Gerrard

“Of course, the market is not totally immune to some bumps in the road to full recovery. The slight downward fluctuation in house price inflation revealed in today’s figures may give doubt to some, but this is likely just a result of some lenders inching up mortgage rates in response to a slight plateau in inflation falling. I would urge people to be mindful that the key benchmark, the base interest rate, has stayed consistent, and hopefully this will remain the case when the Monetary Policy Committee meets again later in March. Or, better yet, we may well see the base rate come down this year if inflation remains under control. In the meantime, provided people are using a knowledgeable and trusted property advisor who can value a property properly, they can still achieve the best possible price.

“Many will be eagerly anticipating the Spring Budget to see if there will be any policies introduced to support people in buying homes, and I hope that the chancellor will realise he has an opportunity to strike while the iron is heating up and will actively seek to encourage home buying. For example, to add to the momentum that the market has gained, we could incentivise older homeowners to downsize by scrapping the stamp duty for older people looking to move into smaller homes, thereby freeing up family homes for the next generation of owners. This could be coupled with a policy to reverse stamp duty for all other property deals so that it is paid by the seller, meaning people are not punished for trying to climb the property ladder and can more easily move into a suitable home for each stage of life. We’ll have to wait and see whether the government will actually introduce any meaningful measures to support home buying, and I suspect it won’t. Nonetheless, as we head into the Spring, overall, it certainly looks as though the property market is blossoming.”


Nigel Bishop of buying agency Recoco Property Search, commented: “We have seen first-hand that buyer confidence has returned to some degree, particularly compared to this time last year. This uplift in market activity is largely driven by the availability of more affordable mortgage products. Equally, sellers have become more motivated to put their property up for sale which is resulting in buyers having a larger pool of properties to choose from.”


Adam Feather, head of Robert Anthony Estate Agents, added: “In a promising turn of events, the UK housing market has witnessed a significant improvement when it comes to transactions ahead of the Spring moving season. However, the market remains very price-sensitive, with properties that are priced accurately being snapped up by purchasers and those with over-optimistic price tags left on the shelf.”


Estate agents agree more sales amid rebound in housing market activity



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