According to at least one well-known industry online portal, buyer interest is on the march once again this spring. And we may only be two or three months into 2024, but house sales are already up on the same period in 2023, having risen by 0.4% last month. That now puts them slightly above pre-pandemic levels.

Latest figures show property values rose to an average of £362,000, with the portal also reporting a 7% upturn in numbers of buyer enquiries.

Meanwhile, one of the UK’s biggest lenders, Halifax, has just reported that average prices are now only slightly off the peak recorded in June 2022. Equally, February saw the fourth monthly increase in a row, say the lender’s most recent figures. Perhaps not surprisingly, London continued to have the highest averages house prices across all regions, having seen the first positive annual growth seen since the start of last year.

At the same time, mortgage approvals have climbed to a 15-month high, while overall borrowing has risen more than expected. Indeed, this was the most recent sign that the ‘technical recession’ declared for the second half of 2023 could even already have ended.

This notion was backed up recently by the UK economist at Capital Economics, Ashley Webb, who told Sky News:

“The signs of life in the housing market suggest that the ‘recession’ will be over soon, if it isn’t already.”

It’s true that, if you’re considering selling, now is perhaps still not the time to get carried away. After all, buyers have more choice than previously, with many being highly price-sensitive, while mortgage rates remain relatively high. Equally, raising a deposit to put down on a home and being able to afford a sizeable mortgage remain challenging, especially for first-time buyers.

Yet there’s no denying that momentum is building – so if you’re serious about selling, it’s certainly worth riding and making the most of this wave of renewed buyer confidence with a decent (if realistic) asking price, not least in case there are any pre-election jitters later in the year.

Not only that but, with spring seemingly just about here, there’s absolutely no reason why this confidence shouldn’t continue to grow. Clearly, no one has a crystal ball. But there are hopes that the Bank of England could cut interest rates as early as May, while inflation is set to come down steadily through the remainder of the year.

Oakfield says

Naturally, we’re delighted at the growing signs of positivity in the UK’s housing market, if not entirely surprised. We’ve been very busy already so far this year, and fully expect that to continue as we move through the spring and into summer. So we’re feeling decidedly upbeat and confident about the current picture in the property market, both nationally and locally, and excited about what this year has in store.

Working from our offices across Eastbourne, Bexhill-on-Sea and Hastings, we’re here to help if you’re contemplating selling up in East Sussex this year, or if you’re feeling ready to buy your next home. And, for all the reasons listed above, now could be the perfect time to do either of those things.

Having been based in our neck of the woods since the 1990s (and always loved it), we offer extensive knowledge of both our part of the world and the local housing market in it, built up over more than a quarter of a century. That means the people we deal with really trust us.

To benefit from all this expertise, get in touch today. We’ve previously written, for example, about how to have the perfect viewing this spring; just one area in which we have detailed knowhow. With our consistently strong communications, excellent marketing skills and myriad outstanding local contacts, we can help ensure your property sale or purchase goes as smoothly as possible. What’s more, we’ll keep in touch every step of the way, from valuation through to marketing, viewings and beyond, to let you know how things are progressing. Additionally, we have a clear-eyed approach to pricing so that we don’t raise unrealistic expectations, while maximising the value we can secure for your home. But before we do anything else, we’ll make sure we fully understand your needs.

Give us a call whether you’re buying or selling, renting or have a place to let out, to learn more about what we could do for your next property transaction. Click here for our contact info.