How the housing market is improving

English houses

The housing market has been very difficult in 2023, with mortgage rates consistently rising and the cost of living crisis, many people have held off moving house until the market improves.

However, we’re pleased that the situation is clearly starting to change.

As home movers, we have direct insight into the highs and lows of the property market and the decreasing interest rates on mortgage deals towards the end of 2023 and into the start of 2024 is having a real impact on the number of removals we’re working on.

If you’ve been putting off buying a new house until it becomes more affordable, now may be the time.

Why are mortgage rates going down?

According to The Times, several major lenders have started 2024 by “slashing their fixed mortgage rates” – with Co-op, HSBC, Halifax and Leeds Building Society among those who have cut their deals by approximately one percentage point in January. HSBC became the first major lender to lower its rates to below 4%, offering a five-year fixed deal at 3.94%.

This is very different to a year ago when mortgage rates rose very quickly in late 2022 and in the first six months of 2023, after the Bank of England hiked the base rate from 0.1% to a whopping 5.25% to tackle soaring inflation. With inflation now falling in the UK, banks and building societies are responding by lowering their mortgage rates.

How can I access the best mortgage rate?

The cheapest mortgages tend to be offered to existing homeowners who are looking to move house or remortgage on their existing home – or, those with a large deposit or a lot of equity, typically 40% of the total value of the property.

Typically, you’ll be offered one of the cheapest rates if:

  • You have a large deposit (usually the bigger the deposit, the lower the rate)
  • You take out a longer term mortgage – five-years tend to be cheaper
  • Your credit score is good
  • You utilise an independent mortgage broker to find the best deals

We’re seeing more people looking to move house

As a result of the mortgage rates coming down, we’re starting to see that more people are moving house once again after putting it off throughout 2023. House prices are also starting to reduce slightly, meaning that homes are potentially more affordable than they were this time last year.

Rightmove reported its highest-ever website traffic on the usual ‘Boxing Day bounce’, further showing that people have an increased confidence in the housing market and are considering making their next move – according to Today’s Conveyancer.

We’re also seeing rental costs soaring, meaning that it is becoming even more expensive to not own a house. Due to this, many people that have managed to save a deposit are now looking to buy their own home, rather than paying someone else’s mortgage.

Spring tends to be a great time to move house too – the days start to get longer and the weather gets warmer, with typically more homes on the market to choose from too. It’s always a good idea to try to get moved before the summer holidays, so you can settle in your new abode before heading off for a well-earned break in the sun.

Are you ready to move house? We’re here to help!

At Ballards, we’re experts in all things removals – so if you’re taking the next step and moving house, we’re here to make things as easy and stress-free as possible.

Get in touch for a free, no-obligation quote from our friendly team today.

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