Copy article

UK house prices rose by 0.7% in February, says Nationwide

ended 01. March 2024

UK house prices rose by 0.7% in February, after taking account of seasonal effects. This resulted in an improvement in the annual rate of house price growth to 1.2% in February, from -0.2% the previous month. House prices are now around 3% below the all-time highs recorded in the summer of 2022, after taking account of seasonal effects. Newspage asked experts for their views, below.

Publishers: if you use any, or all, of the responses in this News Alert, please credit Newspage, e.g. "Speaking to the Newspage news agency, XXXX said...".

For ease, all, or individual quotes, can be copied.

10 responses from the Newspage community

Copy all

Star Quote
Copy

The start of 2024 was exceptionally strong as the mortgage rate war reigned supreme and demand went through the roof. Initial enquiries from borrowers continue to grow, but there is now a degree of hesitation around pulling the trigger and making offers due to the recent increases in mortgage rates. Mortgage rate volatility is leading to inaction, which could be costly for some if rates rise further. Hopefully the Budget and the next set of inflation data will help get the property market out of neutral and back into gear. House prices have remained relatively flat, with small increases regionally. The property market feels like a coiled spring at the moment, just awaiting some positive news in order to be released.
Star Quote
Copy

Demand for property is certainly increasing in our experience, though the rise in mortgage rates, if it continues, could see it drop off slightly. For now, many properties are being sold before our clients are even able to view them. We are hearing of properties selling within days of going on the market here in the south. House prices will likely rise over the next 12 months, albeit not at the meteoric rate we have seen in recent years.
Copy

We can't see any evidence that property prices have been affected in February by the additional fixed rate increases lately. The mood music is very much that buying activity is still lifting, along with prices. Looking forward, we see a slow return to business as usual by the end of 2024 as long as the government doesn't throw a spanner in the works in the meantime with some dream scheme.
Copy

The UK housing market is poised in the starting blocks waiting for the starter pistol. This could either be an announcement in the upcoming Budget or the first cut in the base rate. That first cut in the base rate, when it comes, will see the property market spring out of the blocks.
Copy

The resilience of the property market is quite something, with activity continuing to pick up throughout February. Buyer numbers have increased, as have listings and property sales, apparently undeterred by the slight uptick in mortgage rates. A sense of realism may have hit the market, with sellers asking for more sensible prices and buyers accepting that today's mortgage rates are the new normal.
Copy

We are in danger of seeing all those green shoots of recovery from the start of 2024 evaporate quickly following the recent increases in mortgage rates. On top of that, the economic outlook remains unsettled and that's unsettling prospective buyers in turn. If rates stay in the 4% zone, we have a chance to keep the market moving, but if standard mortgage rates end up in the 5%'s then that will be a psychological barrier to buyers. The next 4-6 weeks are so important. The Budget needs to support borrowers in general and not just the new build and first-time buyers, and the Bank of England must wake up, smell the coffee and cut rates early.
Copy

The housing market is still a deflated balloon and there are no signs of any helium from the Bank of England. Rates probably won't start falling until late summer, and we will then be entering the slower winter season again. Hoepfully a new Government might have some policies to inject some life into the market.
Copy

There's a definite resurgence in buyer confidence in the property market. In the main, borrowers are opting for short-term fixed mortgage products as they are anticipating lower interest rates when they come to remortgage. There's a willingness to accept some short-term pain for long-term gain. Though this entails a calculated risk, we consider it a prudent decision. In a typical market scenario, numerous available properties would be swiftly acquired at the onset of the marketing campaign with stiff competition. However, the current situation presents current buyers with an attractive selection of properties to choose from without the usual level of competition. We've observed several lenders are now offering significantly more appealing loan products compared to last year. This shift has enticed potential buyers who postponed their search in 2023 to 2024.
Copy

Demand in February remained strong despite slight mortgage rate increases. While there are still echoes of 2023's uncertainty, sentiment in the property market overall is cautiously optimistic. Rising mortgage rates have seen some buyers back off and motivated others to act quickly. In 2024, the factors that will have the biggest impact on the property market are adjustments in the base rate, inflation, the General Election outcome, and potential Spring Budget interventions. Overall, we expect prices to grow steadily, supported by stonger demand and the enduring appeal of property.
Copy

The return to positive annual growth comes as no surprise. We had our biggest ever day on an unassuming Tuesday in the middle of February. February overall was an extremely busy month for us. I don’t believe that the demand to buy property ever goes away, it just gets delayed and so many buyers delayed their search through the interest rate uncertainty of last year, then rates bottomed over the holiday period which is typically always quiet, and things really picked up again soon after. The gradual increase in mortgage rates has forced many people into taking the offers they had on the table and make decisions more quickly, which is no bad thing considering not an awful lot happened in the market through summer into autumn last year. 2024 should be a year of growth and stability, right up until an election is announced, then activity will likely drop sharply as it usually does when the country goes to the polls.