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Conflicting House Price Data Revealed

Over the course of 2022, house prices went in two directions. For half the year, they rose strongly, driven by a lack of supply. However, as the economy slowed, interest rates increased and inflation squeezed buyer budgets, they started to plateau in the summer before showing a decline in the later months of the year.

All this might make buyers who have the funds to buy keen to find properties for sale in Leicester, with the anticipation of lower prices counterbalancing higher mortgage rates. However, it may not be so simple.

That narrative that prices will continue to fall as the UK economy slides into recession has been widely accepted, yet while some survey data supports this, not all of it does.

In the latter case, Rightmove has revealed not only that house prices rose in January – which is normal as the market kicks in again after the pre-Christmas lull – but that the bounce-back was larger than normal. New seller asking prices were up 0.9 per cent on December, the largest January rise in three years.

Rightmove’s director of property science Tim Bannister said: “These statistics based on the largest sample of any UK housing report give reasons for some positivity at the beginning of 2023.”

He added that while “some segments of the market” may be held back by higher mortgage rates and affordability issues, other indicators may hint at “green shoots of growth” that will become stronger over the course of 2023.

It remains to be seen if any other surveys hint at a New Year upturn. Earlier this month, Halifax published its house price survey for December, showing a fourth successive monthly drop, although the 1.5 per cent decline in the final month of the year compared with a 2.4 per cent drop in November.

However, that did not prompt director of Halifax Mortgage Kim Kinnaird to predict any early turnaround in the market. Instead, she forecasted a fall of eight per cent in prices over the course of this year.