Houses back on Christmas lists as Britons gear up for Boxing Day Bounce

Britons are house-hunting for Christmas again as demand is up by a fifth compared to this time last year, new figures show.

The new data suggests home are back on our Christmas lists as the housing market has improved significantly compared to last December.

New sales agreed are up 17 per cent and demand has increased by 19 per cent, the study by housing experts Zoopla found.

The Christmas period is traditionally a busy time for the housing market and it is touted as the ideal time to sell by estate agents.

The phrase ‘Boxing Day Bounce’ was coined as a result of increased demand, with people browsing properties over the festive period.

Zoopla’s latest House Price Index found that as we approach the end of 2023 there is an increase in available supply and a boost in buyers.

As a result, it has recorded a slower pace of annual price declines at -1.1 per cent, down from 7.2 per cent a year ago.

Zoopla said the ‘modest decline’ in house prices in 2023 means the market is still up to 15 per cent over-valued.

However, Zoopla predicts the position will improve over 2024 – welcome news for would-be buyers.

Zoopla estimates house prices will fall two per cent next year and first-time buyers will make up the largest group of potential buyers (40 per cent).

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Around one million sales will be made in 2024, the data predicts.

The study found cash buyers in 2023 accounted for a third of sales, while mortgage sales have fallen by 30 per cent as mortgage rates skyrocket.

The average distance buyers look to move is 4.3 miles, however those in the south are expected to look further away at 10+ miles in 2024.

Buyers will continue to look further afield in 2024 in the search for value – with those in southern regions looking furthest at 10+ miles away.

Richard Donnell, Executive Director at Zoopla, said: “The housing market has been more resilient than many expected over 2023 but it hasn’t been a surprise to us.”

“Mortgage regulations introduced in 2015 have stopped an over-valuation of housing which is why the decline in house prices has been modest over the year.”

“House price falls have been concentrated in the south and midlands while prices are still slightly higher over the year in Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

“UK housing still looks expensive by historic standards which is why we expect UK house prices to fall a further 2 per cent over 2024 as prices and incomes re-align.”

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