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Home sales agreed in Q1 up on last year

Home sales agreed in Q1 up on last year
Shekina Tuahene
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Shekina Tuahene

There was a 15% annual rise in the number of sales agreed in the first quarter of this year, insight from a property data firm showed.

In TwentyCi’s property and homemover report for Q1, the firm said “significant momentum” returned to the residential property market, and transaction levels were similar to activity seen in 2022. 

TwentyCi said: “With the economic headwinds abating, we anticipate that the market will remain buoyant in the foreseeable future.” 

Over the period, there were 301,298 agreed sales. 

A ‘rather rosy picture’ 

Colin Bradshaw, CEO of TwentyCi, added: “The property market has, time and time again, shown how robust it is despite all the gloomy headlines and all that has happened in the wider economy. The market momentum, certainly as measured by sales agreed, is gaining further positive pace, which should be maintained throughout the year. Whilst there are some risks arising from the changes in mortgage and employment rates, these are relatively small.

“Overall prices and transaction levels are rising, so it’s a rather rosy picture in the grand scheme of things.” 

Stable activity 

The number of new instructions also rose annually by 12% to 441,934. TwentyCi said this was nearing 450,000 instructions per quarter, which was consistent with a ‘normal’ market. 

Exchanges were down by 7%, which the firm said aligned with the longer conveyancing times of 22 weeks. This was similar to the delays in the market seen in Q3 and Q4 last year when interest rates fluctuated. 

The level of fall-throughs, withdrawn sales and price changes were stable and in line with normal activity, TwentyCi found. 

The firm said it no longer identified a “perceivable shortage of residential property stock”, adding: “We see healthy availability for all property types and price points.” 

A stifled rental market 

TwentyCi’s report found there was no “sign of positive correction” in the rental market in Q1.

“A continuation of stock shortages, high demand and ever-rising rental costs continue to stifle the rental market,” it added. 

The firm said supply was still not meeting the level of demand and rental prices were still rising. 

There was a 5% increase in new instructions for rental properties, and a 6% increase in the number of lets agreed. 

The average rental asking price in the UK was recorded at £1,923 per month, representing an increase of £269 per month in the last 12 months. 

It attributed the state of the rental market to landlords exiting the sector to regulatory and tax changes, as well as affordability and availability of mortgages keeping residents in the rental market and reducing the turnover of housing stock. 

Related: Renters set for 13% price surge ‘over next three years’