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Buckle Up! It's Going To Be A Busy 2024

Happy New Year and welcome to what’s looking like a busy - perhaps even hectic - 2024!

I thought it worth running through what we know is happening in the coming 12 months because in my opinion there’s an unprecedented set of events which may affect the housing market.

This isn’t all bad news by any means, but on the basis that it’s better to be forewarned, here’s a list of what’s happening and my take on how it might just affect the market.

Winter and Spring

First off in January, we have a small tax reporting change that may have slipped under the radar - from this month, Airbnb and other short let platforms have agreed to pass to HMRC details of their hosts’ income channelled through their online websites.

For some Airbnb hosts who let out single rooms, this might mean they exceed their tax-free limit of £7,500 per year. So, if your agency manages short lets for customers, it might be worth warning them in case they do not realise they will have to declare any excess above that limit when they complete their self-assessment tax returns.

Expect a lot more tax changes to be announced on March 6 when Chancellor Jeremy Hunt gives his final Budget before a General Election.

Of course, we don’t know for sure what he will say but the hot money is on Stamp Duty changes, the possible scrapping of Inheritance Tax, and measures to make it easier for First Time Buyers to get on the property ladder. If these changes are introduced quickly (and that’s likely with a General Election in the offing) expect a rapid response from buyers and sellers.

One other tax measure we know about for sure - and it won’t be welcome to landlords - is the latest change of Capital Gains Tax threshold, which kicks in this April. For the tax year 2024-25 and subsequent years, the annual exemption amount will be permanently fixed at £3,000.

That means the capital appreciation profit on a buy-to-let sold in the 2024-25 financial year will face 28 per cent CGT on everything over £3,000 - a blow for the army of small-scale landlords who may have been relying on maximising capital appreciation on their investment property.


At some time, probably June or July, there is to be a so-far unspecified change to lettings regulations. This is not in fact the government’s long-awaited Renters Reform Bill (of which more in a moment) but a change coming from the Competitions and Markets Authority.

Since August the CMA has been investigating the private rental sector to “understand better the consumer protection issues that may be facing people when they rent.” Just before Christmas it promised it would produce its results, and changes to how agents and landlords operate, by mid-2024. No one knows how significant the change will be, so watch this space.

On top of that, the Renters Reform Bill will become law sometime over the summer.

There’s been so much coverage of this it almost goes without saying that its provisions include the scrapping of Section 21 eviction powers, strengthening of alternative Section 9 eviction powers, the introduction of a Decent Homes Standard for private rental property, a compulsory redress scheme membership for landlords, plus more rights for tenants to keep pets. Phew!

But that’s not all. The summer is also expected to see announcements by the government about new controls for the short lets sector.

The government has been consulting on changes for England which might see a scheme along the lines of that being suggested already in Scotland, which would include a compulsory register of people who let homes via Airbnb and other platforms, plus greater powers for local councils to limit the number of short lets if they are deemed to be reducing the supply of long-term rental homes.


The year of change continues with the expectation that interest rates should begin to fall.

Naturally, no one knows an exact date, but the Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey has hinted extensively that no falls are expected in early 2024 and when they do come - perhaps in Q3 - they will be gradual. When they do begin, they should usher in a busy sales autumn for agents.

And did we say, ‘General Election’?

Of course, we did! Its timing is unknown right now but whatever the date one thing is for sure - the election will be the hot subject of media interest until it happens.

We know from past elections that as soon as a date is known the sales market goes quiet. What’s different this time is that housing will play centre stage in the debate leading up to polling day.

Will Labour pledges to introduce even more radical rental sector reforms deter landlords? Might government initiatives to help first-time buyers stimulate sales without increasing supply? Will the urge to win over young voters mean rent controls? And what about parties urging the long-awaited regulation of estate agents?

As someone once said, there are plenty of ‘known unknowns’ about what a General Election might mean. The only certainty is that - with a year of change taking place anyway - the poll may require our industry to be even more communicative than usual with sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants.

There’s a lot to look forward to and remember there will be at least as many opportunities as challenges. So, there’s only one thing left to say - good luck with all of this in 2024!

Phil Spencer is a presenter, author, property investor and founder of consumer advice platform Move iQ.  Via Move iQ Pro agents who are Propertymark members have exclusive access to a video marketing service introduced by Phil and a postcode exclusive to their area. Click here to find out more.


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