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Huge Uptick in Boxing Day Housing Market Activity in the UK

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    Increase in Buyers and Sellers in Property Market at the End of 2023

    In another sign that the housing market is regaining its footing following a subdued 2023, buyer and seller activity rose more than usual during the post-Christmas period.

    According to Rightmove, record numbers of sellers entered the UK housing market on Boxing Day. The portal saw a 26% increase in sellers year-on-year, surpassing the previous record total set in 2022.

    Buyers also came to the market in droves, with the number of buyer enquiries quadrupling from Christmas Day – a 17% increase from the previous year.

    Rightmove also said that visits to their website were also up 8% compared to Boxing Day 2022.

    If you’re looking for a buy-to-let investment property, this could mean that you face more competition for properties in 2024. But it also means that buyers have more options regarding property, particularly compared to the stock-starved property landscape of the previous 12 months.

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      How Is Seller Activity in the UK Housing Market?

      Boxing Day saw an uptick in seller activity in the last days of 2023. While this is not unheard of, Rightmove stated that sellers set new records on their platform. This equates to over 10,000 new properties in the market.

      In 2022, the number of properties that came to the market on Boxing Day increased by +173% compared to 2019 – it was also 46% higher than the 2021 figures.

      Sellers often bring properties to the market on Boxing Day, anticipating an influx of buyers looking to get ahead of the curve and get their property buying done early. After all, it is typical of the market for sellers to reduce prices around the Christmas period, combatting the month’s usual slowing of activity.

      Rightmove property expert Tim Bannister echoes this sentiment. However, he also reiterated that – while seller activity increases from Boxing Day heading into January – sellers who come to the market towards the end of January can still capitalise on increased buyer momentum.

      Further Reading: If you are considering entering the buy-to-let market, brush up on the latest trends with our buy-to-let best areas guide.

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        What About Buyers in the Post-Christmas Property Market?

        Rightmove states that buyers’ enquiries about properties increased by 250% between Christmas Day and Boxing Day in 2023 as buyers sought to enter the market early following the holiday period.

        It is only natural that buyers increase alongside sellers, as those selling properties will be looking for new properties themselves.

        In 2023, buyer enquiries increased by 17% compared to 2022.

        Referring to the latest Rightmove research, Tim Bannister spoke about what the buyer activity could mean for the property market, stating that many would view the upturn as a positive sign as we head out of the winter and into the spring selling season.

        More Insights: If you are one of many buyers looking to purchase a new property, check out our handy guides on London property investment and buy-to-let properties in Manchester.

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          Are People More Confident in the UK Property Market in 2024?

          2023 was a year that saw property price growth stagnate and a huge supply and demand issue, sending costs skyrocketing. With rising interest rates and inflation playing havoc in the market, fewer people were willing to buy, and renters were paying more than ever for suitable accommodation.

          However, 2023 was also a year that defied property market predictions. Some forecasters expected price decline to fall into double-digit percentages. However, the year saw prices rise during the final few months (on a month-by-month basis). In addition, Nationwide research showed that house prices only fell by 1.8% year-on-year.

          Coupled with inflation falling to 3.9% and the Bank of England halting their interest rate hike, mortgages have fallen dramatically, making home-buying more attainable than it had been for most of the year. It seems that buyers and sellers are reacting positively to the news.

          The current housing market may also buoy buy-to-let investors. Savills predicts rents will grow by 18.1% over the next five years. In addition, they have also indicated a 6% rental growth in 2024. With property prices still down and not expected to rise until 2025, the UK property sector is an enticing proposition for many would-be landlords looking for the best property investment.

          Read More: Be sure to check out our guide on how to make money with property if you’re looking to get into property investment in 2024.

          Want to find out more about buy-to-let investment? Dive into some of our handy buy-to-let area guides, including:

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          Dale Barham

          Dale is a property content writer at RWinvest. Keeping a close eye on the UK property market, Dale helps our readers stay informed and up to date on the latest market news and statistics.