Positive News for Colchester Property Market in 2024
By Andy Wade – Director Gallant Richardson Colchester
Colchester’s Property Market has largely defied expectations of a crash, with property prices remaining above pre-pandemic levels. The New Year seems to have started strong with predictions of price rises and lower interest rates.
What the Papers Say
In a break from the more normal doom and gloom reporting in the media about the state of the current property market, it’s encouraging that the press is consistently talking the property market up, and not just the increased levels of activity but strong predictions about price rises and falling mortgage interest rates.
2nd January 2024, The Times, with the headline ‘UK house prices forecast to rise 5% in 2024’. The article confirms that ‘analysts say, the predicted fall in base rates will fuel a rebound in the property market’.
The piece goes on to say that house prices are set to rebound this year as falling mortgage rates and the prospect of the Bank of England cutting the cost of borrowing reverse a dip in property values. Steadily falling mortgage rates and an expected surge in customer demand will push up house prices by 5 per cent in 2024, according to estimates from Pantheon Macroeconomics, the consultancy. Andrew Wishart, senior property economist at Capital Economics, said that another year of declining house prices could be “avoided altogether” as the economy improves.
4th January 2024, Rightmove, under headline ‘Record number of sellers come to market on Boxing Day’. The article confirms that even before the new year began, some home-sellers started to get their 2024 moving. Just one day after Christmas, on Boxing Day, we saw a record number of homes listed for sale. More than 10,000 new properties came to market, which is the biggest number of new sellers in one day since 2011.
Many sellers planned ahead to get their homes ready to put on the market in time to capture the new wave of interest from buyers from Boxing Day and into the new year. So if you’ve been looking for a home to buy, you’re likely to find you’ve now got more to choose from.
Visits to Rightmove nearly doubled between Christmas Day and Boxing Day. The level of demand from potential home-buyers, measured by the number of enquiries sent to estate agents about homes for sale, jumped too, and more than tripled (+273%) from Christmas Day to Boxing Day. There were also 17% more buyer enquiries on Boxing Day than the year before.
5th January 2024, The Times, in a piece by Tom Howard with the headline ‘House Prices now forecast to rise this year’. The article, confirms that according to the recent Halifax survey, prices rose by 1.1 per cent in December to reach an average of £287,105. And that economists now forecast that house prices will rise this year, as falling mortgage rates and the expectation of government support increase what would-be buyers will be able to afford. The expectation among most analysts had been for prices to head lower in 2024, perhaps by as much as 4 per cent. However, there is a growing consensus that house prices will more likely rise.
6th January 2024, The Independent, written by Andy Gregory under the headline ‘Price war hits banks as rates fall below 4%’. The article confirms that Mortgage brokers are gearing up for “price wars” among banks vying for competition, as major lenders introduced deals with interest rates of less than 4 per cent. First Direct is launching two products at 3.99 per cent from Friday, while several of HSBC’s rates are now below 4 per cent for the first time since April, in what brokers have said “could be a sign of things to come”, after the number of first-time buyers with a mortgage hit a 10-year low in 2023.
An Optimistic Outlook
It’s rare to see such a consistently positive outlook from what are in most circumstances, the purveyors of negative, headline-grabbing, pessimism. Their views do match our own experience of the local Colchester market, as local buyers and sellers seem to have a real spring in their step, certainly from the first few days of business in 2024. Long may it continue.
Considering a move in Colchester
There is strong demand for properties in Colchester with many buyers and people looking to rent a home in the Colchester and surrounding areas.
To see the very latest homes coming to the market, click ‘New to market homes’, this lists all of the very latest homes as they come to the market.
You can also see our ‘Recently Sold Properties’.
Andy Wade – Gallant Richardson
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