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Housing Market 2024: Early Insights, What To Watch For

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I recently sat down with, Nathan Emerson CEO of Propertymark the professional body for property agents in the UK. We took an early look at what’s happening in the housing market 2024 with local insights from agents on the front line of the housing market.

A polarised 2024 housing market

Our housing market is probably more polarised now than it has been for a long time. National housing market data tells us one thing but what’s happening in local areas is quite often very different.

Also, most housing market indices report different data at different times which typically have a lag on them.

Propertymark, however, has on-the-ground insights from its members across the UK reporting on what’s actually happening in ’real-time’. And the good news is that there is currently a lot of activity with an increase in buyers of about 11% to 12% compared to this time last year.

There’s also a reported increase in the number of homes being listed for sale up by about 15%. With the number of property sales being agreed upon, compared to the same time last year, is up around 15 to 20%.

It’s important to remember that if you hear the national headlines. It actually can be very different in your local market. So, the place to look to find out what’s going on in your local housing market is to ask a local Propertymark expert.

Housing Market 2024
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An affordability reset?

Affordability resets are down to supply and demand, but these two drivers continue to be out of kilter.

We need more creative ideas to try and help people who want to get onto the property ladder.

Many people who are in rented accommodation are often paying more than somebody paying a mortgage. If it’s clear they are managing to pay that money in rent, then why can’t they get a mortgage?

The UK should not return to risky lending, but more structured mortgage products are needed.

Perhaps more government support to help people get all the ladder in the first place as statistically first-time buyers are getting older.

Very similarly in the rental market, tenants are staying in rental properties longer which creates a bubble because if we’re getting to the stage where we’re getting a lot of renters ages 45 to 55 then where do they go when it comes to retirement?

They don’t necessarily have a house to sell to possibly help with later life care. This is a wider concern for society as if you rent at the age of 65 and you retire, how are you going to pay rent?

Unless the Chancellor announces new initiatives or the return of Help to Buy, then the market will need to get creative and provide these solutions.

A number already exist including services that enable renters to make rental payments count towards their credit rating; mortgages that allow parents to co-invest in a property; and products that like Help to Buy enable tenants to part-buy, part-rent their homes.

The 2024 rental market

Last year rents shot up by 10, 15, and even 20%. This is now softening and people are probably at the peak of their affordability.

Demand remains high for rental accommodation.

Top tips for sellers

Be realistic about pricing and about what your home is worth. If you’re moving, it’s never what you buy and sell for. It’s the difference between.

If you’re getting offers on the table, take those in mind, and add what you’ve got on top. And then see what else you provide out there because people are negotiating at the moment.

Top tips for buyers

Buyers have got more choice of property to buy and you’ve got more mortgage products coming to market as banks are starting to ease off on interest rates. There’s plenty of property coming on the market so don’t feel pressured into buying something that doesn’t suit you. Price will always be the driver of that and the type of accommodation you can afford.

Most importantly, have the confidence to go into the market. You’re looking at it over a medium, long-term picture and would want to try to negotiate the house price where you can.

Top tips for renters

Look after the property you’re in if you‘re renting. There are still a number of tenancies out there at the moment that have not had rent increases, so they are actually below where the current market rents are.

Another factor that contributes to rent increases is when tenants fail to report maintenance issues. Minor problems, such as a small leak, which could be fixed for a few hundred pounds can escalate into major issues requiring significant repair work if left unaddressed. This situation can force landlords into a difficult position where they may need to recoup these costs by raising the rent.

Ignoring a minor water leak under the sink can lead to exorbitant expenses for the landlord. To prevent this, tenants should take care of the property and maintain open communication with their landlord, as this can help avoid unnecessary rent hikes.

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Last Updated: March 11th, 2024

Phil Spencer

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