Property industry reacts to Zoopla House Price Index

The north and south divide in annual house price growth continues with modest falls across Southern England, while the supply of homes for sale is up 20% year-on-year.

This split in house price inflation is most evident at a city level with the the strongest house price growth in Belfast (+3.6%), Burnley (+2.5%) and Bolton (2.4%), and the highest house price falls in Ipswich (-3%), Hastings (-2.7%) and Norwich (-2.4%), according to the latest data from Zoopla.

The variation in house price growth is primarily driven by affordability pressures in the face of higher mortgage rates. Across the south of England, price falls are focused on coastal cities and those where prices jumped higher over the pandemic during the ‘race for space’ where demand is now weaker. House prices are rising in cities with below-average house prices where the impact of higher mortgage rates is less pronounced.

Zoopla expects this north/south divide in house price growth to continue for the remainder of 2024 as incomes and house prices re-align across the country.

Property industry reactions:

Matt Thompson, head of sales at Chestertons, said: “We have seen a clear uplift in the number of homeowners putting their property up for sale to benefit from the heightened buyer demand associated with the spring market. Despite the influx of sellers, demand still outweighs supply. The property market will therefore continue to be competitive but as supply levels increase, some sellers may be more willing to reduce their asking price in order to secure a sale.”


Nathan Emerson, CEO at Propertymark, commented: “It’s extremely positive to see such a sizable uplift in the market across the last twelve months. However, with a general election now confirmed, until there is full clarity on the direction any new government intends to take regarding housing, we expect there to be a temporary slowing across the summer months of both people choosing to sell their property and those actively looking to buy.

“We do have the positive news that inflation is now firmly tracking downwards and would be keen to see interest rates follow. We are hopeful across the coming months that lenders will bring both competitive and targeted deals to the marketplace at the first opportunity.”


Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, said: “Growing supply is one reason that UK house price growth this year will be limited to low single digits. However, the main obstacle for buyers is stubborn services inflation, which is keeping mortgage rates high. Asking prices therefore need to reflect the fact that buyers have more choice and tighter budgets. General elections don’t tend to impact mainstream property markets and if anyone is attempting to guess what happens next to house prices, I would suggest looking closely at the next inflation data rather than the manifestoes.”


James Toogood, Savills director within the South West region, commented: “The South-West, and coastal locations in particular, experienced record levels of interest year-round during the lockdown ‘race for space’, but we are now witnessing a market that has returned to seasonal patterns, with lower levels of properties available during the winter and an uptick in vendors coming to market as the weather improves. This year we are also seeing vendors who have been adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach return to the market amidst signs that interest rates are falling. These vendors are typically looking to upsize or downsize within the same area.”


Adam Feather, head of Robert Anthony Estate Agents, added: “Certainty breeds sales and we expect housing market activity to improve once the election is over and there is a new government in place. Having said that, the market is likely to remain price-sensitive, even if confidence improves, with overpriced properties left on the shelf.”


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