Jan 2020 House Price Watch

January sees rise in transactions and house price growth

Jan 2020 House Price Watch average monthly & annual change in house prices

House prices are up on average 0.4% in the past month and 2.7% in the past year

Monthly shifts in house prices reported by the major indices: Rightmove +2.3%, Nationwide +0.5%, Halifax +0.4% and Land Registry +0.3%.

Jan 2020 House Price Watch comparison of indices

Annual rate of house price growth up in all regions

While house prices are generally up over the past year, house prices fell this past month in Wales (-2.0%), the North West (-0.6%), the West Midlands (-0.4%) and the South East (-0.3%).

Jan 2020 Regional House Prices

Home sales increase in January

Residential property transaction figures from HMRC report home sales in January of 102,810 are up 4% on December and up 5% on January 2019.

Jan 2020 Residential Property Transactions

Both buyer enquiries and seller instructions pick-up in January

RICS residential market survey indicates the majority of regions saw a noticeable pick-up in buyer enquiries in January.  Agreed sales also increased.  There was also a rise in the number of new instructions and valuations which should bode well for the pipeline of new instructions in coming months.  The improvement in the volume of listings coming onto the sales market follows a protracted period of falling supply meaning average stock levels on estate agents books still remains low.  House price pressures appear to be building as market activity picks up.

What the indices say?

HomeOwners Alliance: “With a pause to the period of political uncertainty, the start of 2020 is showing signs of returning buyer and seller confidence. New buyer enquiries, seller instructions and agreed sales all picked-up this month.  The rate of annual UK house price growth has also strengthened in January. The extent to which this positive mood persists will depend on the ongoing strength of the economy, as well as, the speed with which certainty around the UK’s future trading relationships is reached.”

Nationwide: “January saw a further modest pick-up in annual UK house price growth. This follows twelve 12 successive months in which annual price growth had been below 1%. Looking ahead, economic developments will remain the key driver of housing market trends and house prices. Much will continue to depend on how quickly uncertainty about the UK’s future trading relationships lifts, as well as the outlook for global growth. Overall, we expect the economy to continue to expand at a modest pace in 2020, with house prices remaining broadly flat over the next 12 months.”

Halifax: “A number of important market indicators continue to show signs of improvement. We have seen a pick-up in transactions with more buyer and seller activity consistent with a reduction in uncertainty in the UK economy. However, it’s too early to say if a corner has been turned. The recent positive figures may actually represent activity that would ordinarily have been expected to take place last year, but was delayed by economic uncertainty. So while housing market activity has undoubtedly increased over recent months, the extent to which this persists will be driven by housing policy, the wider political environment and trends in the economy.”

Rightmove:  “The housing market dislikes uncertainty, and the unsettled political outlook over the last three and a half years since the EU referendum caused some potential home-movers to hesitate. There now seems to be a release of this pent-up demand, which suggests we are in store for an active spring market. The early birds are on it, with over 1.3 million buyer enquiries to agents since the election, up 15% on the same period a year ago. Some buyers are even further ahead and have snapped up a property already, with the number of sales agreed up by 7.4% on this time last year.”

RICS: “The January 2020 RICS Residential Survey results signal a continued improvement in market activity over the month, with indicators on demand, sales and fresh listings all moving further into positive territory. What’s more, respondents across all regions remain optimistic that sales volumes will continue to gain momentum over the next twelve months.”

To see how we calculate our House Price Watch click here and to see previous reports click here