Latest housing market indices analysed – “Spring is sprung”

'Positive' is the recurring theme from all the leading monitors of house price movements, says property analyst Kate Faulkner.

for sale signs

All of the indices over the last month are giving positive signals that the market is doing better. Statements of ‘stronger buyer demand’ and prices ‘edging up’ are good news – but it still remains a tough market versus the ‘norm’.

Latest house price movements in historical context

House prices table

This is typically one of the better performing times of the year, so we’d expect to see more positive headlines.

Property price and market indices headlines


Stronger buyer demand and sales as market marches into Spring

“The average price of newly marketed properties rises by 1.5% this month.”

Prices up in all regions as the market picks up pace

“Asking prices continue their upward trajectory, adding 0.4% since last month across England and Wales, and are now up year-on-year by 0.1% vs. March 2023.”


Outlook for sales volumes continues to improve with enquiries and listings up modestly over the month

“House price indicator moves into neutral territory while twelve-month expectations point to an upward trend emerging.”


Annual house price growth edges up in March
“UK house prices up 1.6% compared with a year ago.”


Annual growth slows, but house prices remain up on last year
“Property prices grew by +0.3% annually (vs +1.6% last month).”


Confidence slowly returning to the market……

“but annual change still negative at -3.1%.”


Sellers return to the market as sales volumes grow
“Annual house price inflation slows to -0.3%, up from -1.4% in Oct 23.”


Although the headlines are positive and month on month movements aren’t the best measure of the market, it’s interesting to note that both Halifax and e.surv are both showing slight dips in March of ‘average prices’ versus January and February this year.

The key highlights from the indices do talk about prices, but the biggest news is that the sales agreed are higher versus previous years which should help boost things for all of the moving sectors this year:


  • The positive start to the year continues, paving the way for a greater number of home purchases than last year:
    • With average asking prices still £4,776 below the May 2023 peak, more are seeing a window of opportunity to buy.
    • The number of sales being agreed is now 13% higher than at this time last year.
    • Buyer demand is now 8% above last year, led by the less mortgage-rate-sensitive larger homes sector and London.
  • However, despite a better-than-expected start to the year, the market remains sensitive to pricing and external events:
    • The average time to find a buyer is 71 days, the longest at this time of year since 2019. Attractively priced properties are quickly being cherry-picked, but over-optimistically priced sellers are taking longer to find a buyer.
    • The average 5-year mortgage rate is now 4.84% compared to 4.64% five weeks ago, as rates edge up to higher levels.


  • Annual rate of change returned to positive territory for first time since January 2023 – prices up 1.2% year on year.
  • All regions saw an improvement in the annual rate of change in first quarter of 2024.

  • The total sales stock count for England and Wales continues to rise in line with seasonal expectations. The current total of unsold property is 451,185, around 11,000 more than last month and approximately the same total as registered in March 2019.
  • The number of new instructions entering the market during February 2024 was 13% more than during
  • February 2023.
  • The Typical Time on Market for unsold property in England and Wales has dropped eight days since February as market momentum increases. The current median is 104 days; in pre-COVID March 2019, the same measure was 111 days.


  • The average sale price of completed home transactions using cash and/or mortgages rose by a minor £200 – or 0.1% – to £361,368, and is now at a level first seen in February 2022.
  • It is also evident that the average price has hovered around the £361,000 mark for the last four months.
  • 74 authorities see rising prices in February.
  • Three northern regions top growth league table.


  • Market activity improves across all key measures led by sales, which are 9% higher than a year ago.
  • More sellers coming to market and stock of homes for sale up 20%.
  • House price inflation higher than Q3 2023 across all areas but still negative in southern England.
  • The percentage of the asking price achieved has narrowed from 95.5% in November 2023 to 96.1% in March 2024.

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