Housing market seeing signs of life after grinding to a halt last year, according to online estate agent Rightmove
The housing market is seeing signs of life after grinding to a halt last year, according to online estate agent Rightmove.
It said that ‘confidence is improving’ and the number of deals in recent weeks was just a tenth below pre-pandemic levels.
It comes after a slowdown in activity last year following a ‘frenetic’ 2021, Rightmove said.
Building confidence: Rightmove said the number of deals in recent weeks was just a tenth below pre-pandemic levels
The company claimed Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s September mini-Budget, which caused a spike in mortgage costs, led to a drop-off in deals in the last three months of 2022.
Rightmove chief executive Peter Brooks-Johnson said people planning to buy houses ‘stopped to think about their options’. And he added: ‘The first few weeks of January were quiet, but since then we have seen confidence improving.
‘We have come back a long way and this year looks like it may be a bit quieter than 2019 but certainly within the realms of normal years.’
His comments came as it posted a 9 per cent rise in sales for 2022 to £332.6m, while company profits rose 7 per cent to £241.3m.
It was boosted by housebuilders, who usually sell their homes directly, turning to Rightmove for assistance to sell homes during the market slowdown.
The company raised its dividend by almost a tenth, to 8.5p per share, or a total of £68m.
But its shares fell 1.1 per cent, or 6p, to 557.8p yesterday.