Housing market shows early signs of upturn: e-surv

The latest Property Watch report from e.surv shows the UK housing market has exhibited surprising resilience in the early months of 2024, driven by pent-up demand, favourable mortgage rates, and improving buyer sentiment.

However, the re-emerging confidence in the market is not matched by homeowners’ enthusiasm for energy efficiency.

According to e.surv analysis, consumer sentiment towards energy efficiency is lukewarm with 74% of surveyors observing limited consumer understanding of the benefits of energy-efficient products and services.

Over half of surveyors viewed cost savings and thermal comfort as the main drivers for adopting green measures in the home, with 30% looking to improve the ‘saleability’ or value of their property.

However, 32% of respondents reported the cost of installation remains a barrier to making improvements to their home.

Early 2024 sales activity saw a +10% net balance increase among home movers compared to -23% in December 2023. And 30% of surveyors in London and South noted an increase in the volume of homes coming to market.

Pace of annual house price falls continues to slow, but most regions still see properties selling below asking price.

South of England and Wales: 60% of areas selling below asking price.

London: 52% of surveyors reported sales met or exceeded the asking price.

In the rental market rent caps, economic factors, and rising numbers of international students continue to fuel demand and prices, especially in Scotland, London, and Northern Ireland.

For new build, according to e-surv, a third of new homes are selling below asking price with longer sales cycles;  with 60% of new homes rely on buyer incentives to attract buyers.

Commenting on the latest data e.surv head of research Rob Owens said: “Energy efficiency is a key component in the cost-of-living crisis. However, our survey shows that homeowners are unlikely to make the move to greener homes themselves. Encouraging energy-efficient homes through policy and incentives is essential to combat rising energy bills and improve the UK’s housing stock.”

“While policy makers are understandably trying to address cost-of-living issues, the long-term of benefits of addressing the energy performance of UK homes should not be lost if we are to meet agreed net zero targets.”

He added: “While the UK housing market shows encouraging signs in 2024, affordability remains a key concern for many. Addressing the ongoing rental supply-demand imbalance is crucial to ease pressure on tenants.”

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