In the opening weeks of January, the UK real estate market witnessed a strong surge, driven by falling mortgage rates and pent-up demand from the latter half of 2023. The momentum has continued into February, with current data indicating that buyer demand is now 11% higher than the same period last year. Notably, this increased demand is widespread across all regions, with London leading the way, followed closely by the North East and North West.

Assessing the market's health involves examining the trends in the number of sales being agreed upon. Fortunately, the current data indicates that sales agreed are up across all regions, with an overall increase of more than 10% in six regions. This positive trend is particularly evident in Yorkshire and Humber, London, and the South East.

The market's vitality is further highlighted by a substantial increase in the number of new homes being listed for sale, marking a 10% rise compared to the previous year. This surge is most pronounced in the he North East, East of England and the South West.

While the market is experiencing increased activity, the average time to sell a home in 2023 was 34 days, slightly longer than the rapid pace of the pandemic-fuelled market in 2022. Pitching the asking price correctly is emphasized as crucial, especially for unique or unusual homes. Sellers are advised to consult local agents to gain insights into market dynamics and demand for their specific property type.

There are still underlying regional variations in sales periods, with London and the South East experiencing longer periods due to higher house prices. The column also emphasizes the importance of understanding the extended legal and mortgage processes post-agreement.

Despite the positive trends, a realistic approach to pricing is urged. While finding a buyer may be easier, increased choices for buyers could lead to more negotiations. The market is currently more balanced between sellers and buyers than it has been in three years, signalling a positive outlook for continued activity in the coming months. Sellers are advised to manage their expectations despite reports of rising house prices.

Sources from Zoopla