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Estate Agents Predict a Positive 2024 for the UK Housing Market

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    Optimism for 2024 Housing Market Among Estate Agents Across the Country

    Estate agents are cautiously optimistic about the property market outlook in 2024, according to a recent Fine & Country poll.

    While 2023 was mediocre compared to other years due to external economic factors, those who work in the property market expect clearer skies, with inflation and interest rates falling over the past few months.

    If you’re looking to buy property to let, these results may tempt you into the market sooner rather than later.

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      How Do Estate Agents Feel About the UK Housing Market in 2024?

      The Fine & Country poll considered the thoughts of estate agents during an event in November. The attendees were asked to rate their experiences in the property market in 2023 and what they expected in 2024.

      According to the poll, the average rating across regions for 2023 was 6.82 out of 10. In comparison, the average rating for 2024 was 8.49.

      In addition, estate agents noted that property sales were slow at the start of the year – when the UK economy was still reeling following Kwasi Kwarteng’s questionable mini-budget. However, many estate agents noticed a considerable uptick in activity during the final quarter.

      This correlates with property market data from the likes of Nationwide and Halifax. According to Nationwide House Price Indices, the UK market saw a monthly price increase of 0.9% and 0.2% in October and November, respectively. Meanwhile, Halifax reported 1.10% and 0.5% price increases during the same period.

      Estate agents pointed to positive changes in the market – such as more available stock and price reductions among sellers looking to secure a deal – as a reason for the positive end to the year.

      Nicky Stevenson, managing director of Fine & Country, had the following to say about the poll results:

      “Based on the feedback we have received from the network, it is safe to say our agents are optimistic about the year ahead but are realistic about the fact that next year will not be without its challenges.

      “While many have experienced a more challenging market during 2023, most believe 2024 will be a better year and are excited about the opportunities ahead.”

      If you’re looking for articles and guides on property investment in the UK, consider checking out our guide to property investment or our article on buying rental property.

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        Why Are Estate Agents Optimistic for 2024?

        According to Fine & Country research, optimism among poll respondents comes from buyers feeling more comfortable with higher interest rates in the UK housing market, with many first-time buyers seeing higher rates as the “new normal”.

        Interest rates rose following the three national lockdowns, the Ukrainian War and Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget. These events pushed inflation; the Bank of England raised interest rates steadily to curb borrowing and bring inflation down again. In turn, these factors lead to a higher cost of buy-to-let.

        However, in the latter stages of 2023, the Bank of England held the interest rates three times in a row, keeping them at 5.25%. This was because inflation fell steadily, starting in the summer, before settling at 3.9%.

        While inflation is still almost double the Bank of England’s target of 2%, it has prompted mortgage lenders to lower their rates and tempt buyers back to the market. As the poll from estate agents shows, this is expected to work.

        In addition, some forecasters predict the Bank of England will drop interest rates early in 2024 to lead the country away from a recession. This will also have a positive impact on mortgage rates if it comes to fruition, leading to a more exciting 2024 for buy-to-let property investors.

        Considering buying property in 2024? Make sure you check out some of our handy buy-to-let guides for information on different housing markets across the UK.

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        Dale Barham

        Dale is a property content writer at RWinvest. Keeping a close eye on the UK property market, Dale helps our readers stay informed and up to date on the latest market news and statistics.