Yorkshire’s property market is defying the national trend of declining property prices, as indicated by the latest data from Rightmove.
The average asking prices for newly listed homes have experienced a 1.9% decrease in December. This is higher than the previous 20-year average reduction of 1.5%, attributed to seasonal factors as sellers become more competitive.
Rightmove’s figures also reveal that the 2023 market has proven more resilient than anticipated, transitioning gradually from frenzy to normality. The average asking prices from new sellers are just 1.1% below the figures from a year ago. Additionally, sales agreed for the year-to-date are only 13% lower than the same period in the more frenetic 2022.
Yorkshire and the Humber are among several regions where asking prices have increased, with Rightmove’s data showing year-on-year growth of 0.7%.
Furthermore, Rightmove’s data indicates that buyer demand in the mid-market, second-stepper sector has increased the most compared to last year’s post-mini-Budget period, rising by +9%. Overall buyer demand has also increased by 6%, as some movers paused to await calmer conditions.
Rightmove predicts a national average drop of 1% in new seller asking prices in 2024. Motivated sellers are expected to price below their local competition to secure a sale, given that buyer affordability remains stretched. However, the data also reveals that average mortgage rates have fallen for 19 consecutive weeks, with the average five-year fixed mortgage rate now standing at 5.11%, compared to 6.11% in July.
Patrick McCutcheon, head of residential at Dacre, Son & Hartley, which has 20 offices in West and North Yorkshire, said: “Although transactions have been lower this year than in 2022, Yorkshire’s property market has held up well. Mortgage rates have fluctuated, and this has made buyers more risk-averse, but this month’s decision to hold interest rates is another sign that things are calming down and we expect to see lenders continuing to compete for business, which is positive news for buyers.
“Both buyers and sellers are taking a more realistic approach now and ultimately a well-presented property that’s accurately priced with a reputable estate agent that knows the local market inside out will sell.
“Lots of potential movers have been waiting to see what happens this year and it’s likely that cheaper mortgages combined with a broader choice of property for sale will encourage many to go for it in 2024.”
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property science, commented: “Further price falls beyond the usual seasonal trends that we’d expect at this time of year signal that some new sellers are continuing to act on the advice of agents to price competitively. We entered this year under a cloud of uncertainty, as the fallout from the Autumn mini-Budget filtered through to lower activity levels.
“High mortgage rates which have added to already-stretched buyer affordability have been a challenge throughout 2023 and this is likely to carry into next year. However for now, there appears to be more calm and certainty heading into 2024, and the annual fall of 1.1% in asking prices highlights the market’s much-better-than-predicted resilience this year.”