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Data from Rightmove shows the number of people sending a valuation request to an estate agent was 23% higher in January 2024 than the previous record of January 2023.  

January’s figure was also 27% higher than the third highest month on record for valuation requests in July 2020, when the housing market had reopened during the pandemic, the portal said.

It comes as mortgage rates have dropped since the start of the year.

The number of new properties coming to the market for sale is 13% higher than last year, while the number of future buyers sending enquiries to estate agents is 7% higher, Rightmove said.

Rightmove’s property expert Tim Bannister said: “The early data suggests estate agents have had a busy start to 2024, with more market activity than at the start of last year.

“This activity we’re seeing is likely to be a combination of those movers who have recently decided to make 2024 their year for a new home, and some pent-up demand from those who took a step back last year to consider their options while the outlook for mortgage rates was more unclear. It’s early days but the first month of data is encouraging.”