What’s Happened in the Housing Market in January?

Home prices experience largest increase for January since 2020

A significant number of prospective homeowners have kick-started their 2024 relocation plans, with estate agents noting a bustling onset to the year. The most recent data on housing prices, offers a real-time glimpse into property market dynamics, indicating an increase in new listings compared to the initial week of January last year. Similarly, the demand from potential buyers has seen a rise from 2023 levels.

An additional encouraging indicator is the number of individuals initiating the process of securing a Mortgage in Principle to gauge their borrowing capacity from lenders. Since December 27th, Rightmove reports that it has recorded nine out of its ten busiest days for Mortgage in Principle activities, with January poised to become the most active month since the inception of this service in 2022.

January witnessed the most significant monthly surge in new seller asking prices since 2020

The average listing price for a home in Great Britain climbed by £4,571 (a 1.3% increase) to nearly £360,000 this month. Despite this growth, the figures remain below those of the same period last year, indicating a level of pragmatism among new sellers regarding price expectations amid the market’s ongoing recovery from the effects of historically elevated mortgage rates.

Notably, there are distinct regional differences in these trends across Great Britain. To view the most current average home prices in your area, see Rightmove.

Essential Insights for Home-Buyers in 2024

Forecasted Slight Decrease in Average Listing Prices by Year-End

The transition from a subdued December to a more active January typically leads to a rise in prices, making this month’s uptick anticipated. Moving forward, it is anticipated there will be a 1% decline in average new seller asking prices across the nation by year’s end. Given the sustained strong demand from buyers at appropriate price points, a more substantial decrease in prices in 2024 seems improbable.

Increased number of new property listings compared to the same period last year

There’s a 15% surge in the volume of homes entering the market for sale compared to the beginning of the previous year, spurred by an unprecedented spike in listings on Rightmove on Boxing Day. The most notable upturns in new listings have been observed in the North East and South West regions. Although this has expanded the options for buyers, the market isn’t oversaturated with listings, as the total inventory of properties for sale is merely 1% higher than the typical market figures of 2019.

Mortgage rates have been on a gradual decline

This presents a more stable environment for the mortgage sector compared to the same period last year. As January witnesses a seasonal surge in demand, lenders are increasingly vying for business, intensifying competition within the market.

The Present Property Landscape for Home-Sellers

An encouraging sign for 2024 is the 20% increase in sales agreements compared to the early days of last year, indicating that many sellers are setting appealing prices to attract buyers. This uptick is noteworthy, especially considering the hesitant market conditions at the start of last year due to the mini-budget repercussions and the rising mortgage rates, which led many to reevaluate their positions.

Additionally, buyer interest has seen a 5% rise in the first week of 2024 over the same timeframe last year, with London and the North East experiencing the most significant surge in inquiries. This heightened activity underscores the importance of competitive pricing for sellers aiming to secure a sale this year, as the influx of new listings surpasses the growth in buyer inquiries.

The current dynamics suggest a proactive stance among many looking to move in 2024, including those who might have put their plans on hold last year due to the fluctuating mortgage landscape.

The housing market in January indicates that 2024 should be a good year for property owners.

Improving Your EPC Rating Before Moving

The EPC Certificate – How Does it Affect You?

When it comes to purchasing or renting a property, it is the person selling the house or the landlord who has the responsibility of obtaining an EPC. However, it’s still important for everybody involved to understand what the certificate is telling them.

Sellers

It is illegal to sell a home without an EPC in place. In order to obtain an EPC you should speak to your estate agent, or for better value for money, obtain one directly from an EPC provider.

Buyers

Ensure that you receive an EPC when you buy the house. Your solicitor should be checking this. Have a look at the recommendations it has and use it to inform you what improvements the property needs. You may even use it to negotiate on price.

Landlords

If you have a property you wish to let out you must ensure that you have a valid EPC in place. Not only that, if you are asking a tenant to sign a new lease you must ensure that the property has achieved a minimum rating of ‘E’. From April 2020, this rule extends to cover all existing leases too.

Tenants

Insist on seeing the property’s EPC before you move in. This not only ensures that it has met the legal requirements, it also gives you a good idea of how much the property will cost to run. This makes it easier to plan your monthly budgets going forward.

Understanding the EPC

The basic premise of an EPC is to show how energy efficient a property is. The main focus is on the Energy Efficiency rating, on page one of the document.

Here you will see two scores, one is the current rating, the other is the potential rating. The EPC will in subsequent pages show you how to get from one to the other.

‘A’ rated is the highest, ‘G’ rated is the lowest. Newer homes tend to have better ratings with older homes tending to have ratings of ‘D’ and ‘E’. The national average for a domestic property in the UK is ‘D’.

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Moving Home Efficiently – Top Ten Tips

Moving Home Efficiently – Top Ten Tips

moving home

No-one ever said that moving home was a stress-free enjoyable experience. Most people would agree that it is a stressful, hellish experience.

Death and divorce are probably the only two things that can claim to be more stressful than moving your life from one place to another.

In order to make your move go as efficiently as possible you need two things, a plan and a list of tips to help you get through it. Here is our offering for the latter.

  1. Get the Keys Together

    Most houses have a lot of keys aside from the obvious front door key. There’s the back door key for a start, there might be a side door key too, and a key to the patio doors?

    What about window keys, shed keys, garage keys?

    Not only that, have you got all the copies of these keys? Have you got the keys you lent to the dog-walker, babysitter, in-laws?

  2. Prepare a fact file about your property

    The kind of thing you might find when you rent an apartment for holiday. You can include meter locations, rubbish collection days, alarm codes, tradesmen you frequently use or even your recommended takeaways.

    Why do this? Because it’s a nice touch, and you might also want to ask your vendors if they would do the same for you?!

  3. Find Meters and Fuse Boxes

    If your vendor isn’t going to leave you a nice fact file, ensure you ask ahead of time where the gas and electric meters are, as well as the fuse box. Don’t forget to find out who the energy suppliers are and take a reading as soon as you move in.

  4. Arrange Parking

    Will the removal vans have somewhere to park? Not only to park, but space to unload all of your stuff? Moving home is stressful enough without upsetting your new neighbours.

  5. Get Rid of the Kids and Pets

    Don’t get over excited, you’re not getting rid of them completely! Asking a friend or family member to look after them whilst you move home will make it all that little bit easier.

    Doors are open constantly and your attention is always going to be elsewhere. Not having to worry about a dog or a child running into the road will be an added bonus.

  6. Survival Kit

    Pack a bag with some absolute essentials. Include food, drink and any instructions you may need on the day. If you’re planning on giving the house a clean when you arrive, make sure all your cleaning products and equipment are easier to access.

  7. Label Everything

    Maybe even go the whole hog and invest in a label maker? Make sure every box is labelled with its contents and the room it is to be delivered to in the house. Label the doors in the new house too, after all how is anyone going to know that’s a dining room if there’s nothing in it?!

  8. Pack Early

    Talking of boxes, make sure you have them ahead of time and start to pack as early as possible, putting non-essential items into boxes first. Do you really need to keep your childhood teddies on the shelf until moving day?!

    Anything you can do to make the actual moving day itself less stressful will make the overall experience of moving home less stressful.

  9. Consider Using Professionals

    As someone who has moved home themselves and used professional movers I cannot recommend using the latter enough. If you can afford it of course. Especially if everyone in the house is trying to work full time too.

    A standard removal service for a local move is surprisingly good value. You can even upgrade to a deluxe service where the removal company packs your boxes for you too!

  10. De-clutter Now!

    Think about how much stuff is in your house and then think how much of it you really need. Do you really want to drag that running machine you last used in 2009 from one house to the next?

    Moving home is a fantastic time to de-clutter and throw out or recycle all the things you don’t need.

    Start in the loft/garage/cellar if you have them. That’s where you’ll find the greatest amount of junk!

Need an EPC in Anerley or any other town ion the London Borough of Bromley? Give EPC Bromley a call to arrange an appointment. Most EPCs are completed in less than an hour so we’ll be out of your way in no time.

Renting out your home and need an inventory, we can help with that too.