The housing market experienced a Boxing Day bounce as 2022 drew to a close, with the number of sellers putting homes on the market up by 46% compared with the same day a year earlier, according to Rightmove.
The website said the number of sellers putting their properties up for sale on December 26, 2022 was the highest it has ever recorded for any Boxing Day.
In further signs that people may be preparing for a move in early 2023, Rightmove said the number of people contacting estate agents to value their home between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day was the highest number recorded in a week since early September.
Valuation requests were 29% higher than a year earlier.
Bank of England figures released on Wednesday showed the number of mortgage approvals for house purchase dipped in November, to the lowest level since June 2020.
Some commentators suggested that would-be home buyers paused to take stock in November, following a sharp rise in mortgage rates.
Rightmove’s property expert Tim Bannister said: “Boxing Day is traditionally the start of activity ramping up into January and the spring selling season after Christmas, as people return to their search or consider a new year move.
“We’ve seen some promising activity and familiar patterns over the festive period this year, which are good signs for the year ahead.
“While we expect a calmer market this year than we’ve had since the pandemic started, the record number of sellers who chose to come to market this Boxing Day indicates there is a group of motivated sellers ready to move, who perhaps held back and now feel more confident.
“After such frenetic market conditions over the last few years, this year’s calmer market will better suit measured movers who prefer to take their time to find the right property.
“The jump in number of views of properties for sale pre and post-Christmas is another good sign that the new choice available is getting a lot of attention from future buyers.
“After a pause for the festivities, those wanting to buy this year will be ready to get back to their plans and assess where they’d like to live and what they can afford.
“Those sellers who got a head start and have their home already up for sale will now be benefiting from the jump in viewings over the next few weeks, as people settle back into their usual routines.”