Mortgage rates have started to creep down, house prices are forecast to fall into 2024, and asking prices have slowed across the country. However, gloomy national headlines don’t always reflect the situation on your doorstep…
If you're contemplating a move, it's crucial to analyse your local housing market, as its trends could differ from the broader picture. At Quealy & Co, your local estate agent in Sittingbourne, we are happy to provide a free, no obligation valuation of your home to sell and to let. Book your free valuation.
Read on to find out all the latest UK property market news from over the last month from the team at Quealy & Co in Sittingbourne.
Mortgage Rates Fall Below 6%
In welcome news for buyers and homeowners whose mortgages are due for renewal, the average rate on a fixed-term mortgage has dropped below 6% for the first time since July. The rate is expected to stay at 5.25% on November 2nd.
The fall comes after the Bank of England froze the base interest rate in late September, which ended a run of 14 straight increases and has given lenders the confidence to lower their rates in turn.
While the news will be very welcome to borrowers, anyone with a mortgage due for renewal in the next few months is still likely to face an increase to their monthly repayments of several hundred pounds. However, most financial experts are predicting that the UK base rate may have reached its peak, which should lead to mortgage rates continuing to fall next year.
Asking Prices See Smallest October Rise In 15 Years
Figures revealed by property website, Rightmove, have shown the smallest increase in asking prices for October, since 2008.
Traditionally, prices usually rise at this time of year after the summer is over and buyers and sellers look to have their moves completed in time for Christmas. However, after an even quieter summer than usual, there hasn’t been the expected increase in prices so far.
Rightmove’s data shows that asking prices have crept up by just 0.5% this month, with an average asking price of £368,231. The average increase at this time of year is usually 1.4%, but a combination of high mortgage rates and an increase in the cost of living has seen many would-be buyers hold off from putting offers forward, with sellers increasingly likely to accept a lower offer.
House Price Predictions Into 2024
The UK’s biggest lender, Halifax, has stated they expect house prices to continue falling into 2024.
While the rate of reduction has slowed, their figures show that prices were 4.7% lower last month than they were the previous September, and they’re forecasting that a mix of high interest and mortgage rates will continue to see prices dropping over the coming months.
The figures come after rival lender, Nationwide, recently revealed that buyers are increasingly looking at smaller properties and taking out longer mortgages as they battle to keep the cost of buying a property affordable, with 25% of mortgage holders under 30 taking out 35-year mortgage terms since the start of this year.
The 10 Most In-Demand Features for Buyers and Renters Revealed
A study by property website, Rightmove, has revealed what matters most to buyers and renters looking for their next property, and the findings make for fascinating reading.
Number one for buyers is a fixer-upper, and with the price tag being £29,000 lower than the national average asking price, it’s perhaps no surprise that buyers are looking for bargains they can do up themselves, especially given how high mortgage rates are currently.
As for renters, unsurprisingly, fixer-uppers aren’t top of their priority list. When it comes to their top must-have, double glazing is the number one priority. And in a sign of the times when it comes to high energy costs, a smart heating system, a new boiler and a property that’s energy efficient were all in the top 10.
As for buyers, a new boiler and double glazing were also in their top 10, but in a sign that they’re more likely to stay put for longer than renters, storage space and a garden were also in their top 10 must-haves.
More Property News From Quealy & Co
For more local property news and updates and a more detailed overview of the Sittingbourne, Sheerness, Minster, Faversham, Canterbury, Rainham, Gillingham, Chatham, Rochester and Maidstone, get in touch with Quealy & Co. We are your trusted local estate agent.
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