The UK’s beleaguered housing market enjoyed some “respite” as buyer activity picked up amid easing mortgage rates, according to an influential property professionals survey found.
Housing professionals said there had been a gradual improvement in market sentiment, influenced by the recent easing of mortgage interest rates, according to the December 2023 report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).
Newly agreed sales figures also suggest a less negative market and short-term sales expectations have also risen with the year ahead and expectations are the most positive they have been since January 2022. The average time to complete a sale is also decreasing, now averaging 18 weeks, down from 20 weeks in September.
Get in touch with Mortgage Broker UK today to discuss your residential and Buy to Let Mortgage requirements.
Prices have continued to fall but the rate of decline slowed, Rics said. It forecast prices will continue to creep downwards, before stabilising by the end of the year. Professionals predicted a solid recovery in home sales volumes emerging in 2024.
New data from the Office for National Statistics published this week showed prices were down by 2.1 per cent on the year, which is the biggest drop since June 2011.
The latest feedback on house price expectations remains varied across the UK. House prices in Scotland are expected to rise in first three months of this year – the first-time that Scottish respondents’ three-month expectations for prices have moved into positive since May 2022.
Read about the UK Housing Market via our Specialist Residential & Buy to Let Division”
This coincides with an overall improvement in sentiment within the Scottish residential market, according to respondents, which appears to be linked to the trend towards lowered mortgage rates.
Together with Northern Ireland and north-west England, Scotland is one of the only areas of the UK where respondents expect prices to move higher over the course of 2024.
Discover our Mortgage Broker services
Tenants are likely to face rises of over 4 per cent over the next year as supply of rented accomodation continues to be constricted. The Rics professionals believe rental growth will average 5 per cent a year over the next five years.
Tarrant Parsons, Rics senior economist, said: “With 2023 proving to be a particularly challenging year for the UK housing market, it appears recent weeks have seen a little bit of respite emerge.
“Supported by an easing in mortgage interest rates of late, buyer demand has now stabilised, and this is expected to translate into a slight recovery in residential sales volumes over the coming months.
By David Connett
Source: i News