The first month of the year has been a total contrast to the to the last quarter of 2023. The housing market staggered to an end last year after being battered continuously by rising interest rates, affordability issues, slipping house prices and a lack of confidence.
The turn of the year has been a breath of fresh air, so far there is more optimism which has been mainly fuelled by the major mortgage lenders cutting their rates considerably. All of a sudden, some lenders are offering five year fixed rate deals under 4.5% (some fees apply).
Enquiry levels have shot up which has translated to more viewing activity which is starting to translate to more sales. The opportunity is now right for many buyers as the cost of borrowing is now beginning to be more affordable again and the choice of properties on the market is vast and varied. In the local area we cover there are over 1,000 properties for sale within a three-mile radius of any of our offices.
We all still need to be cautious as the market can be very fickle as any announcement by the Bank of England or media article can change the momentum quickly. The number of properties available for sale is still diluting all sellers chance of finding a buyer and it is not uncommon to see good properties still unsold after six months of marketing. The number of brand new houses are also a huge challenge to the market, many national house builders are still offering fantastic incentives to draw buyers away from the second hand market in favour of new.
At the moment the housing market needs to enjoy this purple patch after a very unstable two years, both buyers and sellers should take advantage of the opportunity to move home whilst the going is good.