With the arrival of 2024 and the year-end results, there is always a flurry of reporting and key statistics to aid Housing Market predictions for the year ahead to keep us property people busy and thinking. However, after such a turbulent few years post Brexit and the pandemic, things are still very uncertain and therefore we felt it would be useful to look at the forecasts made by leading UK property and money sites regarding house prices in 2024 to hopefully help people gain a better understanding of the potential trajectory of UK house prices in the coming years.
A review of Housing Market Forecasts for 2024
Starting with leading property website Zoopla, their key takeaways for 2023 showed house prices fell in all property price bands and areas of England and Wales. The biggest annual falls are in the East of England (-2.7%), the South East (-2.4%) and the South West (-2.2%). Southampton, Aberdeen, Cambridge and Portsmouth are the worst hit in terms of UK cities. As for 2024, they state, "…our data suggests that house prices will keep falling slowly next year. After three years of strong price growth up until 2022, higher mortgage rates are resetting the price people can afford to buy at. Despite a modest decline in house prices over 2023, UK housing still looks 10-15% overvalued at the end of the year. We expect this position to improve during 2024 as incomes rise and house prices drift 2% lower.
Zoopla Key takeaway = 2% fall
According to market leader Rightmove, they state that the 2023 housing market has been better than many predicted, with lower-than-expected falls in asking prices, and good levels of demand from home-buyers for the right-priced homes. However, rising mortgage and interest rates have stretched the affordability of many people planning to move. As for 2024, they predict that average new seller asking prices will be 1% lower nationally by the end of 2024, as competition increases among sellers to find a buyer. Their property expert Tim Bannister says: “It is likely to be another muted year for the market, however, the better-than-anticipated activity this year has shown that many buyers are still getting on with satisfying their housing needs. We predict a modest average 1% fall in new seller asking prices in 2024. The underlying level of good demand at the right price makes it unlikely that we will see a more significant drop in prices next year.”
Rightmove Key takeaway = 1% fall
In the Nationwide House Price Review and Forecast, they state that a rapid rebound in house prices is unlikely in 2024 and that house prices fell by 1.8% in 2023. The key takeaways from Nationwide were that housing market activity was weak throughout 2023 as affordability pressures are ever-present / increasing and that house prices are to see a low single-digit decline or remain broadly flat in 2024. Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist, commented: “Housing market activity was weak throughout 2023. The total number of transactions has been running at c15% below pre-pandemic levels over the past six months, with those involving a mortgage down even more (c25%), reflecting the impact of higher borrowing costs. On the flip side, cash transactions have been running above pre-Covid levels. This subdued picture was also reflected in house prices, which in November were 2% lower than the same period in 2022, and 4.3% below the all-time high recorded in late summer 2022.”
Nationwide Key takeaway = 1% fall or remain the same
Halifax / Lloyds Banking Group - the country's biggest mortgage lender, has forecast a fall of between 2% and 4% in 2024, given the broader economic challenges, and the likelihood that mild downward pressure on house prices continues. They also state that a partial recovery in market confidence and transaction volumes is expected in 2024 as interest rates ease and affordability improves, but as with recent years, forecast uncertainty remains high given the current economic environment. Kim Kinnaird, Director, Halifax Mortgages states: “UK property prices held up better than expected over the last year, falling by just -1.0% on an annual basis” and “Overall, with the combination of cost-of-living pressures and interest rate levels that are still much higher than even two years ago, we will likely see continued mild downward pressure on house prices. Our latest forecast suggests a fall of between -2% and -4% in 2024, though it should be noted, as with recent years, forecast uncertainty remains high given the current economic environment.”
Halifax Key takeaway = between 2% and 4% fall or remain the same
Savills - Housing market is past ‘peak pain’
According to the latest 5-year house price forecasts from property adviser, Savills they say that mainstream house prices are expected to fall by a modest -3% as borrowing cost pressures begin to ease in the second half of the year, and they state “after a rollercoaster twelve months, the UK’s housing market is past ‘peak pain’ and looks set to bottom out in mid-2024”