UK House Prices Dip as Mortgage Rates Rise

Date Published 07 May 2024

In April, UK house prices fell on average by 0.4%, this meant that the annual rate of house price growth decreased to 0.6%, down from 1.6% in the previous month. The average UK house price in April was £261,962 reported by Nationwide. This has caused nearly half (49%) of prospective first-time buyers to delay their plans over the past year.

Buyers are now looking towards properties in more rural areas of the UK as these areas tend to be cheaper which appears to be the most common compromise that prospective buyers will make. More compromises on properties are being made, around 32% said they would consider a smaller property than they wanted, whilst 28% would go for a property that needed work doing.

53% of buyers said that their delay in purchases is due to house prices being too high, but it is notable that 41% said that higher mortgage costs were preventing them from buying. Another 84% of prospective first-time buyers said that the cost of living has affected their plans to buy.

Prices dipping in the sales market could be due to the Buy To Let market. Recently with the Renters Reform Bill many Landlords have been looking to sell. This could also be due to rental properties having low EPC's. Even though the EPC plans were scrapped many Landlords still lost money on improvements they made to their properties.

The average UK rent for new lets has now reached £1,223, a 7.2% increase in average rent over the last year. This has equated to UK renters paying an extra £960 per year (or £80 per month) compared to a year ago. Even though this shows an increase in rent, the rent growth continues to slow and has dropped for the second quarter in a row.

Continually low levels of net-new investment in rental properties means supply will remain below average, supporting rent rises. However, slower increases will be welcome news to renters who have faced steep hikes in the last two years.