Asking prices have risen by 0.7% to a UK average of £297,587, according to the latest house price index from property portal Rightmove.
This marks an increase over the past 12 months of 1.1%.
There are significant regional differences however. Scotland saw asking prices drop 4.4% on average this month, and the North East and greater London saw 2.7% and 1.4% falls respectively.
In contrast, asking prices in the North West in January rose by 2.4%, while the South West saw a 1.6% increase.
Sellers remain very choosy, with the number of sales agreed in the final quarter of 2017 down on the preceding year in all regions. Yet early traffic data indicates a busy start to 2018, with visits up by an average of 9% so far in January compared to the same period last year, averaging over 4 million visits per day.
Rightmove director and housing market analyst Miles Shipside said: “Setting tempting asking prices and then quickly reducing them if there is little initial interest will be key to turning this promising level of buyer activity into actual sales, especially in the less active sectors and locations of the UK.”
The stamp duty exemption for first-time buyers appears to already be having an effect, Rightmove notes.
Properties that typically suit this buyer group have seen prices rise 1.1% over the month, compared to 0.4% growth for second-stepper homes and 0.8% growth for top-end properties.
Legal & General director Jeremy Duncombe commented that 2018 has got off to a “realistic start”, with asking price growth more in line with inflation than in previous years.
“Couple this with competitive mortgage rates and a Stamp Duty exemption, and first-time buyers should find it a little easier to get on the property ladder,” he said.
15th January 2018