As we approach the conclusion of 2023 - it's astonishing how time flies - the trend of negative reporting concerning the housing and mortgage markets has persisted. Recent headlines like "UK house prices drop 5.3% with falls in every region, says Nationwide" and "UK mortgage approvals hit six-month low as interest rates cool market" reflect the current situation. Although there's certainly some truth to these reports, it's important to note that the market is not in the same upward trajectory as it was a year ago. Despite this, it's not all bad news and despair.
Despite a decline in volume, activity in the first-time buyer market remains substantial. This trend may be attributed to the fact that even with higher mortgage payments, owning is still a more affordable option than renting, particularly with a 35% surge in local rents since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Across all our offices, we continue to observe properties selling, thanks in part to the robust employment rates and the generally affluent population residing along the M4 corridor.
The average fixed-rate mortgage has recently dropped below 6%, with some offers available at less than 5%. Although still higher than the historically low rates observed in the last few years, this rate is not incompatible with mortgage rates of previous times. The slowing of inflation implies that rates will likely drop even further by next year's Spring/Summer.
In September, there was a rise in enquiries as more homeowners became motivated to enter the market, which should, in turn, generate more sales in the coming weeks and months. *
At Parkers, we have acquired several decades of experience selling properties across various markets. We have made significant investments in staff training and technology to guarantee that our marketing techniques surpass those of our competitors.
Our social media strategies enable us to reach markets that others might overlook, while our traditional estate agency methods remain relevant in more challenging markets.
We believe there is no such thing as a bad market…only a bad agent!
We will keep out clients moving over the winter of 2023/2024 and look forward to fewer negative headlines in the press coming in the near future!
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*Rightmove House Price Index September 2023