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Inflation rate rises but will it hit the property market?

Inflation rose unexpectedly in the 12 months to December 2023, Office for National Statistics (ONS) data has revealed.

The latest ONS figures showed alcohol and tobacco prices pushed the inflation rate up to 4% in December, up from 3.9% in November.

Many analysts were expecting the inflation rate to drop.


 It comes as mortgage rates have dropped in recent months amid lower inflation, raising hopes that sales and housing market activity will improve.

Karen Noye, a mortgage expert at wealth manager Quilter suggested the surprise uptick in inflation  may mean the Bank of England maintains its ‘higher for longer’ stance for a little while longer, on interest rates.

She said: “But rate cuts are widely expected to materialise as we move further into 2024 and those looking to secure a fixed rate mortgage could find that deals become increasingly more palatable.” 

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s property expert, said: “This shows that we can still expect some economic surprises this year, and agents report that the market is still very price sensitive. However, we’re seeing much more confidence from many movers at the start of this year, who are determined to get on with their plans.”

Nathan Emerson chief executive of agency trade body Propertymark, added: “It’s imperative to remain mindful the coming months will feel like a transition period as we find a healthier balance again. Last year the Governor of the Bank of England hinted there would be no quick drops in interest rates in order to keep check on inflation.

“For homeowners it will mean a higher level of vigilance regarding household budgeting will need to remain for a while yet. For buyers and sellers, it will likely mean very careful planning on searching out the best options for your personal circumstances.

There is positive news within the property market however, we are starting to the house prices in many areas springing back to growth again and Propertymark are optimistic this will become a more widespread picture as we head further into 2024.”


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