Homes in England and Wales, sold in 2023 after being purchased within the last two decades, exhibited an average increase of £102,650 or 48%, marking a slight decline from the record high of £112,930 noted in 2022, as revealed by data analyzed by estate agency Hamptons.
Despite the dip from the previous year’s peak, this still indicates a substantial appreciation in property values over the two-decade period. Homeowners who sold their properties in 2023 experienced a noteworthy uplift compared to their initial purchase, showcasing the resilience of the property market even with a slight reduction in the average appreciation.
In aggregate, sellers in 2023 collectively realized an impressive £103 billion increase in the overall value of their properties when comparing the purchase price to the selling price. This substantial uplift underscores the significant financial gains made by homeowners over the past two decades, contributing to the dynamic landscape of the property market in England and Wales.
In the real estate landscape of 2023, a noteworthy 93% of property vendors successfully sold their homes at a price surpassing their initial purchase, reflecting an average ownership span of 8.9 years. Despite this achievement, the average gain for sellers in England and Wales experienced a modest decrease, settling at 48% as opposed to the 54% observed in the preceding year, 2022.
The dip in the average gains can be attributed to a combination of factors. On one hand, there were minor declines in house prices throughout the past year. Simultaneously, there was a notable shift in the market dynamics, marked by a trend where homes changed hands at a relatively quicker pace. This shift is evident in the average ownership duration, which saw a marginal reduction from 9.0 years in 2022 to 8.9 years in 2023, indicating a move towards more expedited property turnovers during the latter year.
The overall gain percentage in property transactions for the past year was significantly influenced by a notable uptick in households opting for a change in residence within a relatively short two-year span. Specifically, a noteworthy 8.0% of households that successfully sold their homes in the previous year had made a home purchase merely two years earlier, back in 2021.
Delving deeper into this trend, it becomes apparent that those who entered the property market in 2021 and subsequently sold their homes in 2023 were disproportionately inclined to be involved in transactions related to properties situated in suburban or rural areas. This particular subset of vendors, on average, realized a commendable gain in their property values. The figures reveal that the average vendor who initially purchased a property in 2021 managed to sell it in 2023 for an impressive £56,170, reflecting a substantial gain of 23% over their initial purchase price.
Since 2016, the pace of house price increases has been more rapid outside of London. While a considerable 88% of London sellers managed to sell their homes in 2023 for a higher price than their initial purchase, a contrasting scenario emerged for those who entered the market in 2016. In this group, only 72% were able to make a profit when selling in 2023. Notably, a significant portion of these sellers owned properties in Prime Central London, where the average property value remains below the peak levels witnessed in the market in 2016.
However, despite the challenges in Prime Central London, the financial gains for Londoners remain substantial due to the higher property prices. On average, a London homeowner sold their property last year for an impressive £204,190 more than the initial purchase price, reflecting an average ownership duration of 9.5 years. Furthermore, it’s noteworthy that London sellers held onto their properties for the longest duration, which can be partly attributed to a sizable group of potential sellers whose current property values have yet to surpass their initial purchase prices.
Sellers in the North East region continued to experience comparatively modest gains, both in terms of cash and percentage increases. On average, households that sold their properties in 2023 achieved a gain of £40,410 or 33%, relative to their initial purchase prices (refer to chart 3 and table 1 for details).
Examining the broader picture, there were 156 local authorities across England and Wales where the average homeowner realized a six-figure gain upon selling their homes. This marks a slight decrease from the 181 areas observed in 2022. Notably, households in Kensington & Chelsea stand out for making the most substantial cash gains. With an average ownership duration of 10.8 years, sellers in this borough recorded an impressive average gain of £680,580, surpassing double the average house price in Great Britain.