Course correction continues

Search AcumenBy Legal Futures Associate Search Acumen

Latest ONS HPI figures have been published this morning and show:

  • On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average UK house price decreased by 0.6% in January 2023, following a decrease of 0.4% in December 2022.
  • On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the average UK house price decreased by 1.1% in January 2023, following a decrease of 0.5% in December 2022.
  • The average UK house price was £290,000 in January 2023, which is £17,000 higher than 12 months ago.
  • Average UK house prices increased by 6.3% in the 12 months to January 2023, down from 9.3% in December 2022.

Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, the property data and insight provider, comments:

We are continuing to see some course correction since the pandemic and the disastrous mini-budget last year, wreaking havoc on house prices. If interest rates remain at this level and transactions feel the effect of seasonal spring energy, it is likely house prices will keep on a similar path in the coming months, keeping the sector reliant on the resilience of our demand driven market. Today’s ONS figures reflect a difficult housing market, and a house price forecast that that many predicted at the start of the year, albeit with a slightly softer landing.

“Following the Chancellor’s budget last week, with the announcement that the UK will avoid a recession this year and measures such as continued energy bill support and frozen fuel duty, there is space for increased consumer optimism to prevail. However, with a backdrop of the worst cost-of-living crisis in 60 years, making predictions for the rest of the year is increasingly hard to make. For house prices, the market’s ability to fend off consumer concern is heavily dependent on the bank’s ability to lend, keeping mortgage affordability and household finances firmly in the spotlight. As the economic picture constantly evolves, it is incredibly important that property sales are done quickly and efficiently, while mortgage deals remain in place.  

“The easiest way to keep transactions at pace is to integrate technology into the homebuying journey – ensuring better communication, avoiding errors, and simplifying tasks that would have previously taken weeks, into those which take seconds. This keeps both sides of the equation happy, with lawyers able to put their expertise to use rather than wasting time on administrative tasks, and homebuyers able to complete transactions faster and with less fuss.”


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