Property valuation requests hit record high as estate agents enjoy busy start to 2024

The number of prospective sellers contacting estate agents to have their home valued reached an all-time high in January.

New data from Rightmove reveals signs of the stock shortage starting to ease slightly, as home-owners choose to take advantage of improving housing market conditions and sell this spring.

The number of people sending a request to an estate agent to value their home was 23% higher in January 2024 than the previous record of January 2023.  

January’s figure was also 27% higher than the third highest month on record for valuation requests in July 2020, when the housing market had reopened during the pandemic.  

One of the factors contributing to confidence amongst many sellers and buyers to get their 2024 moving is the more stable mortgage market, which has remained calm at the beginning of the year, the portal said. 

Average mortgage rates have continued to slowly trend downwards, and the average five-year mortgage rate is now 4.64%, compared to the peak of 6.11% in July 2023. 

After the first month of the year, the number of new properties coming to the market for sale is 13% higher than last year, while the number of future buyers sending enquiries to estate agents is 7% higher.  

Rightmove’s Tim Bannister said: “The early data suggests estate agents have had a busy start to 2024, with more market activity than at the start of last year. This activity we’re seeing is likely to be a combination of those movers who have recently decided to make 2024 their year for a new home, and some pent-up demand from those who took a step back last year to consider their options while the outlook for mortgage rates was more unclear. It’s early days but the first month of data is encouraging.” 

Responding the the data released this morning, Nathan Emerson, CEO at Propertymark, added: “Buyers who have been waiting in the wings are now starting to show increasing signs of optimism following three years of economic turbulence.

“Propertymark member agents witnessed many buyers moving house, which took up the majority of sales. However, now that more buyers are expressing an interest in moving and with hopes to see further interest rate cuts improving affordability, we anticipate an increased growth in confidence and usual market trends fully returning.”

 

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