2023 was a better year than expected
Next year is already off to a good start on the back of a much less bleak 2023 than anticipated. Many doom-mongers had predicted the worst, but the annual national average asking price in November came in at -1.3%.* When you consider the rapid growth in prices over the last few years, this is insignificant. In fact, in October 2023, the monthly change in the national average asking price increased by 0.5%.*
There are no hard-and-fast rules. All properties are unique, and first-time buyer home prices have remained the most robust. This will continue in 2024. But with house prices no longer rapidly increasing, the market is in a better place and more reasonable pricing is prevailing. There is also slightly more room for negotiation on bigger homes. Because of this, it’s vital to value and price your home correctly in the coming year.
Stabilising interest rates
Interest rates were held at 5.25%** for the second consecutive time by the Bank of England in November after months of increases, thanks to falling inflation. This has created more certainty and stability as we enter a new year. There is a wider acceptance that mortgage rates will not return to the super-low levels of the past. This is ushering home movers into getting on with their moves and not waiting any longer with a life-is-for-living attitude. And with many banks not passing on the increase in the base rate to mortgage rates, if there is another increase, then your mortgage will not necessarily cost you more.
More mortgage products to choose from
Your mortgage benefits from a more stable base rate. This leads to a greater choice of cheaper mortgages appearing on the market. Moving home mortgages or porting your mortgage allows you to move home with your existing mortgage. This year has seen an increase in mortgage support schemes and longer terms, which make moving with higher interest costs more affordable. A good mortgage advisor, like a good agent, can be the key to making your move more possible and can explore options such as offset mortgages, and interest-only mortgages. Next year, we should see a bigger increase in choice as the market settles.
As mortgage rates decrease property prices will increase
Some analysts predict that mortgage rates will decline in 2024 and that house prices will rise towards the end of the year. But there is little point in waiting for this to occur, as property prices right now are reasonably priced. Putting off moving to later in 2024, when mortgage rates may decrease, will not save you any money. As property prices increase, any savings you thought you might gain by waiting will be lost.
A returned-to-normal market
The market has returned to the more normal levels of 2019. With reasonable pricing, strong demand, and good levels of affordability, 2024 promises to be a better year. Prices could not continue to rapidly rise as they have in recent years. Looking ahead, the property market is strong, resilient, stable, and far less frantic than in recent years. This year has seen a re-adjustment and the re-emergence of a market that will allow you to enjoy your home move with more time and less haste.
The Christmas and New Year surge
In 2022, the number of views of homes for sale on Rightmove jumped by 20% between the week of Christmas and Boxing Day.* Thousands of home movers start viewing properties over Christmas as homes appear on the market in time for the Boxing Day home viewing frenzy. Getting an early start to the year ahead will create renewed buoyancy in the market. Your home will sell quickly, and there will be plenty of homes for you to explore. Perhaps it is also hard-wired into many of us that we like change as a new year appears.
With improved levels of affordability, a renewed vibe at the beginning, and an expectation of lower interest rates by the end of the year, 2024 is looking good. Many people are eager to get moving after postponing their plans to wait and see what happens. With competitively priced homes entering the market and this pent-up demand, 2024 could see good levels of growth.
Whether you are window shopping or seriously seeking the property of your dreams, you will notice a huge variety of beautiful properties appearing on the market. With for-sale signs sprouting on your street and property portals. Homes and investments in all locations, from first-time buyers to large, luxurious, or compact apartments, will give you a greater choice than in past years. And finally, you make your move to a better way of living.
Your agent will make it easy
Estate agents are evolving and being less rushed than in previous years, they will have a lot more time for you. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is due to a lack of market activity. The market will remain strong, resilient, and buoyant and feel less frantic. Agents are connected to vast databases of home movers and mortgage advisors, and with the ability to price your home correctly, they make moving easy.