Positive trends bring optimism to housing market

With falling house prices and spiking mortgage rates, 2023 was a challenging year for the UK housing market. However, both buyers and sellers have cause for optimism this year, as positive trends in the property sector start to defy previously gloomy outlooks.  

House prices are predicted to rise this year, providing good news for those looking to sell their home. Although originally forecasting a 4% price drop in October 2023, property consultancy Knight Frank now expects a 3% increase instead*.   

This optimism is reflected in sellers’ asking prices; according to property portal Rightmove, the average price has risen by £4,571, marking the biggest year-long increase seen since 2020. The number of homes coming to market is also up by 15% from last year, indicating an active and hopeful property market**. 

This is also good news for buyers, as higher prices are contributing towards lower mortgage rates to offset costs and help buyers borrow more. The current Bank of England Base Rate is 5.25%, whilst the current average rate for a five-year fixed rate mortgage is 4.79%, down from a peak of 6.11% in July 2023***.  

The rates are predicted to stay steady throughout most of the year, although buyers may see a slight dip in late 2024***. 

This stability in mortgage rates has created more buyer interest and activity, with Rightmove reporting a 20% increase in sales completed. With the number of available property enquiries in the first week of 2024 5% higher than the same period in 2023, it looks likely that 2024 will promise both buyers and sellers better prospects than the previous year.    

Although only time will truly tell what the housing market will look like throughout 2024, there is good reason to be optimistic about current market activity and when looking ahead at the year to come. 


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