Zoopla said the volume of viewing enquiries made for specific properties advertised by estate agents on its website had increased by 12% over the past four weeks
More Britons made enquiries with estate agents about potential home purchases over the past four weeks as mortgage rates began to drop, breaking a downtrend which has been in place since April, property website Zoopla said on Thursday.
Zoopla said the volume of viewing enquiries made for specific properties advertised by estate agents on its website had increased by 12% over the past four weeks, although it was still a third lower than a year ago.
Better news on inflation and the end of base rate hikes has provided scope for lenders to begin lowering mortgage rates which has supported a modest rise in demand for homes, Zoopla’s executive director, Richard Donnell, said.
Seasonal effects also supported the rise, the property website said.
Weekly mortgage data collated by property website Rightmove showed the average interest rate for a mortgage with a two-year fixed rate dropped from an average of 6.41% in August to 6.07% this week.
This still represents a steep rise from 4.60% a year ago, when mortgage rates had already started to jump after bond markets baulked at the then-Prime Minister Liz Truss’ budget plans as well as Bank of England tightening.
Last week the Bank of England surprised many investors when it kept its interest rate on hold at 5.25%, after official data showed an unexpected drop in consumer price inflation in August.
Other housing market measures have shown a continued decline on property sales and prices.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said its gauge of new buyer inquiries declined in August to its lowest since October 2022, when there was intense bond market tumult following Truss’s budget plans.
Mortgage lender Halifax said house prices in August were down 4.6% than a year back, the steepest decline in 14 years.