Published 2 months ago

May Market Update

May Market Update

April is over and the effects of Easter have started to shape the buying, selling and rental sector. As well as seasonal shifts, there’s also been political change. Here are 8 things we learnt about the UK property market last month.  

1) Asking prices continue trending upwards: it was a repeat performance in April, with Rightmove’s analysis showing asking prices had nudged up again. The 1.1% increase is equivalent to £4,207 extra being requested by sellers, when compared to March. The UK’s new average asking price is £372,324.    

Increase in successful transactions

2) Encouraging completion figures: Rightmove’s April House Price Index also revealed the number of sales being agreed climbed 13% during the last month. This follows 13% growth seen in March. Buoyed by this success, the number of new sellers coming to market has increased annually by 12%.  

Supply of new listings improves

3) There’s more choice for buyers: Zoopla’s latest report has found purchasers who were previously disappointed now have 20% more homes for sale to choose from, compared to a year ago. The portal says supply is at a five-year high. As such, it expects 1.1 million sales completions in 2024 – a 10% increase on last year.  

4) The average house price remains stable: Two separate house price indexes released in April found the UK’s average house price had settled around the £260,000 mark. Zoopla said a 0.1% monthly increase puts the average cost of a property at £264,500. The Nationwide had this figure at £261,962.  

5) A revised TA6 form has been released: All sellers in England and Wales should fill in a TA6 property information form but those who have completed one previously will notice some difference next time around. The 5th edition has been revised so it sits in line with Material Information requirements. Expect new questions on coastal erosion, mining areas and energy efficient features, among others.  

6) Renters’ Reform Bill makes progress: after much debate and a number of amendments, the Renters’ Reform Bill completed its passage through the House of Commons in April. It now resides in the House of Lords. The race is on for the Bill to gain Royal Assent before the General Election.  

7) Scotland’s political unrest could impact property: April saw the resignation of First Minister Humza Yousaf. Also leaving his position was Patrick Harvie, minister for zero carbon buildings, active travel and tenants’ rights. The country’s Housing Bill is now in jeopardy, with incoming ministers having the ability to amend or add to the legislation. Among the items up for debate will be the intention to introduce rent control measures.

All change when it comes to heating

The 1st April 2024 saw Scotland ban the use of certain heating methods in newly built and converted homes. Now off limits is the installation of gas and oil boilers, as well as wood and log-burning stoves. New homes should instead be fitted with heat pumps or heat networks.  

8) UK rents keep rising: Analysis by HomeLet found UK rents have risen in every single region, when looking at annual figures. Looking at month-on-month activity, rents rose by an average of 0.9% in the last four weeks. This increase leaves the UK’s average monthly rent at £1,273.   

Yields for landlords improve

Readers of Property Industry Eye may have spotted a recent article on rental yields. The average yield in Great Britain increased from 4% to 4.5% over the last year. Scotland posted the most eye-catching yield, at 5.4%, followed by the North East (4.8%) and the North West (4.6%).  

If you would like to know more about your local property market, please get in touch.

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