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Agents anticipate house price drops and slower sales in 2024 - survey

A third of Jackson-Stops agents are expecting a “modest decrease” in house prices next year with some offices expecting drops of as much as 5%.

The agency brand has surveyed its own staff to get a sense of property market sentiment.

It found that two thirds predict property prices will hold in 2024, while the remaining third are prepared for a modest decrease in prices, though this varies by local market.

Whether this outlook will become a reality in 2024 will depend on a number of wider factors including longer term mortgage rates, availability of supply and a UK general election.

Jackson-Stops predicts that homeowners seeking lifestyle changes and eager to unlock the significant equity they have built up will continue to be a dominant buyer group throughout 2024. 

Across the market, Jackson-Stops agents said they are seeing a trend among some sellers in less of a rush to put their listings on hold until the Spring when they hope there will be more clarity on the UK’s economic and political outlook. 

The brand is also predicting that lengthy transaction times will continue to be a challenge for buyers and sellers with the time taken between sale agreement and exchange of contracts averaging 12 weeks in some markets.

Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops, said: “Another unpredictable year for the property market has passed, proving that the only thing that is certain is uncertainty. Despite a challenging economic backdrop with mortgage rates impacting buyers’ and sellers’ plans which has prompted some to take a ‘wait and see’ approach, the property market continues to show signs of enduring strength. We expect a minor reduction in property values at worst, under 5% over the year, which will bring some house prices back in line with pre-pandemic levels.

“Transaction speeds have slowed significantly. All the skills that we employ to progress sales are having less impact than in previous years. Surveys are being treated warily by buyers – all the characteristics of a stickier market. But with the prospect of interest rates going down next year and a greater pipeline of supply which is likely to increase further in Spring 2024, there are reasons to expect a better market emerging as the year progresses. It is important that sellers continue to accept realistic valuations, reflecting a market that has greater competition once again.

“The possibility of a General Election in 2024, as early as May 2024, could cause buyers to pause and hold off making a long-term commitment until they know the impact and the chance of changes to housing policy. Though the reality of the housing market is that while those not pressed to move can delay a purchase, a change in lifestyle or circumstance ensures that a steady stream of transactions will take place throughout 2024, to levels seen in pre-2020. 


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