Darren Murphy's market update

Posted on Saturday, January 27, 2024

2024 has seen a positive start with activity levels significantly above those seen in the latter part of 2023 and ahead of the same period last year.

Mortgage rates, having risen last year, have eased with many lenders reducing the cost of borrowing in the face of competition and the lower levels of demand seen as affordability has got harder.

Over half of people in the UK own property without the cost of a mortgage although groups such as first time buyers are clearly the most affected by increased borrowing costs as they are usually the most highly “geared.”

2024 will see a general Election at some point and with inflation reducing and economic growth remaining positive, albeit, at a very low level, there may be room for the Government to throw some “goodies” onto the table by way of incentives as they look to secure some votes.

Changes to stamp duty and new versions of Help to Buy are being mooted but these can have a detrimental effect in artificially fuelling the market and creating price rises that can then cause issues later on.

Markets, if left to their own devices, ebb and flow and there is much to be said for allowing them to find their own levels at any given point in time. We shall have to see what approach the Government takes in the months ahead.

Buying a property is not a short term decision. Most people buy to put a roof over their head for themselves and their family and, whilst the investment element is important it pales in comparison to actually owning a home.

We are certainly seeing growing numbers of people taking a pragmatic view and prepared to commit to buying and selling providing the price is realistic.

For sellers, one of the worst things you can do is “over price” your property when putting it on the market and, potentially, end up chasing a price downwards in order to secure interest and a sale.

Competitively priced property is attracting good interest and creates a competitive market that will enable the best price to be achieved.

Lettings remains very buoyant. Rental values have increased significantly over the last year and whilst this rental growth has slowed due to affordability issues, the demand continues to outstrip supply.

More and more, good quality tenants are seeking out fully managed properties rather than those that are self-managed by individual landlords as ensuring maintenance, safety and communication is at the highest levels is key to their enjoyment of living in a property.

There are a number of proposed changes to residential lettings legislation that are currently under discussion and underway in the Parliamentary process. These could be challenging for many landlords who are not working with a professional managing agent and are being seen, by some, as altering the balance and favouring tenants.

Our view is that the best tenancies for both landlords and tenants are those where there is harmony and shared interest when it comes to balancing investment return for the landlord and a safe, well maintained environment for tenants.

As always, the highly experienced team at Christopher Nevill are here to help with your selling, buying, letting or renting plans and will be happy to have a confidential discussion as to how you can best achieve your plans.


Darren Murphy

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