British country cottage garden in spring

Residential Property Review – March 2024

RICS responds to the Spring Budget  

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has released a statement in response to the Spring Budget.  

On 6 March, the Chancellor announced that twenty more towns will join the Long-Term Plan for Towns, each receiving £20m. RICS was supportive of this investment, as well as the government’s deeper devolution deal with the North East Combined Authority. 

However, from RICS’ perspective there was still room for improvement. The leading professional body expressed that, with housing still an issue in the UK, they had hoped for a more detailed plan regarding the delivery of new and better homes.  

Justin Young, Chief Executive Officer at RICS, commented, “We look forward to hearing more on specifics such as placemaking and supply side measures, alongside supporting our high streets and net zero targets, ahead of any election.” 

Majority of sellers made a profit in 2023 

Data from Zoopla has found that, despite house prices falling last year, 93% of UK house sellers made a profit in 2023.   

While the average profit on a UK home was £74,000, the specific amount of capital gains made varied depending on location. The average sold price was highest in London (£517,000), with the average seller in the capital making £15,100 per year of home ownership. Meanwhile, those in the North East gained £4,250 each year as they sold their home for a lower average price of £151,000. 

The time spent in the property also dictates the amount of profit made. The general expectation is the longer you have owned the home, the more you are likely to make. However, as Izabella Lubowiecka, Senior Property Researcher at Zoopla explained, “those who bought when property prices last peaked, just before the 2007 financial crisis, saw more modest gains compared to those who bought after, when house prices dipped.” 

Improved market activity expected to boost property transactions in 2024 

Buyer and seller activity showed signs of improvement in February as the residential property market appears to be slowly bouncing back.  

Last month, buyer demand was up 11% year-on-year according to Zoopla. This is likely due to the lower cost of borrowing since there has been no increase to Bank Rate since August 2023.  

The number of sales agreed also saw a boost of 15% when compared with February 2023, with the North East of England and London experiencing the most noticeable rise in sales. 

Richard Donnell, Executive Director of Research at Zoopla, reflected, “Momentum in the sales market has been building over the last five months. I believe the housing market is on track for 10% more sales in 2024 than in 2023, totalling 1.1 million, as greater supply boosts the potential for more sales.” 

All details are correct at the time of writing (20/03/24) 

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