House prices down on last year but property market set to 'defy expectations' with 'strong signs of improvement'

House prices down on last year but property market set to 'defy expectations' with 'strong signs of improvement'

House prices hit a record high

Anna Barry

By Anna Barry

Published: 31/01/2024

- 10:54

House prices are down on last year but Britons selling their houses this month can make more on their properties now than before Christmas

For Britons hoping to sell their homes, UK house prices have risen by 0.7 per cent month on month in January 2024.

Annually, house prices were down by just 0.2 per cent, the strongest figure since January 2023, according to Nationwide's House Price Index.

In January 2024, the average house price - not seasonally adjusted - is £257,656.

In contrast, the average house price in December 2023 was £257,443 - £213 less.

Do you have a property story you'd like to share? Contact our team by emailing

Sold signs outside UK properties

Houses are down by 0.2 per cent in January 2024


Despite the increase being small as of January 2024, this does suggest that house prices are going up, which is good news for sellers.

December 2023 saw a zero per cent monthly change in house prices. As for an annual change, this was down by 1.8 per cent.

Nationwide's Chief Economist Robert Gardner commented on the findings. He said: "UK house prices rose by 0.7 per cent in January, after taking account of seasonal effects. This resulted in an improvement in the annual rate of house price growth from -1.8 per cent in December to -0.2 per cent in January, the strongest outturn since January 2023."

CEO of Open Property Group, Jason Harris-Cohen, also commented on the findings and proclaimed good news for buyers and sellers.

He said: “The property market has continued to defy expectations, registering strong signs of improvement with house prices increasing on a monthly basis yet again and now sitting just shy of where they were this time last year.

"This growth is being driven by an increasing level of buyer confidence, with property prices proving ever resilient, despite a wider landscape of macro uncertainty and interest rates remaining at their highest in over 15 years.

"We expect this confidence will grow further should the Bank of England hold rates again this week and while the decision to do so may cause mortgage rates to creep back up, it’s unlikely to dent the appetite of the nation’s buyers and we expect market activity to continue to build over the year ahead.”

For Britons looking to sell their homes, there is "a mixed picture across the UK", according to Robert Gardner.

Housing in Edinburgh, Scotland

'Scotland and the North continue to be the most affordable regions'


He said: "There remains considerable variation in affordability across the country, with pressures particularly acute in London, the south of England and East Anglia.

"Scotland and the North continue to be the most affordable regions, with mortgage payments as a share of take-home pay much closer to their long run average.

“These variations have led to stark differences emerging between those who would like to buy and those who are actually able to do so.

"This is most pronounced in London, where the average income of actual first-time buyers (for a single borrower) is around 55 per cent higher than the average income in the capital (for an adult full-time worker)."

You may like