The UK’s housing market is showing signs of life with prices rising 0.9% in January

Today’s brighter news was that Rightmove, a property website in the UK, reported that house prices increased 0.9% in January, after months of falling.

The firm’s most recent survey revealed that prospective buyers are contacting agents more often than ever, despite rising mortgage rates and an economic backdrop that is weak.

The New Year’s bounce was the largest since 2016, but overall enquiries were down by more than a third (36%) compared to last year.

The survey found that house prices rose 6.3% in the year to January. The average asking price for a UK home is now PS362,438, which was an increase of 6.3%.

Rightmove’s director for property science Tim Bannister stated in the survey: “The seasonal rise in new seller asking price this January from December was particularly encouraging for movers looking for the reassurance and calmer, more controlled market after the turbulent and changing economic climate of last year.”

The good news for homeowners was also that Moneyfacts data showed a decrease in mortgage rates.

The average fixed rate for two years is now at 5.63%. This is down from 5.79% 1 January and continues to fall from the highs of more than 6% following Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget.