By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Should Investors Wait for new round of House Price Falls?

Two leading house price indices have shown recent rises - both the Nationwide last month and now the Halifax.

The latter says typical house prices rose 0.5 per cent in November – the second consecutive monthly increase, although this does not stop them being 1.0 per cent lower over the past year as a whole. 

According to the Halifax the average house now costs £283,615, around £40,000 above pre-pandemic levels.


Northern Ireland has shown the strongest annual growth – up 2.3 per cent in a year, while the South East of England is struggling most, down 5.7 per cent in a year.

But small price rises now do not mean the window for shrewd investors to snap up cheap property has closed according to Sarah Coles, head of personal finance at business consultancy Hargreaves Lansdown.

She says: “Sellers face a problem that’s all too familiar now. On paper things are looking good, but they actually have to find a buyer first, and they’re still pretty thin on the ground.

“There has been some marginally better news on that front, with mortgage approvals recovering very slightly in October, back to 47,400, as mortgage rates have eased a little. The rate on a two-year fix is set to fall below through the psychologically important barrier of 6.0 per cent in the coming days, which could persuade more buyers to take the plunge. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that as recently as June, we had 54,700 mortgage approvals in a month, so this isn’t a stellar recovery.

“This pick-up in mortgage approvals will take a few months to filter through into property figures. And even then, there’s every chance this is a blip rather than a bounce back. 

“The Office for Budget Responsibility expects the economy to continue to stagnate, which could mean job losses and wage freezes. This would remove two of the most important things underpinning the market right now, so we are still expecting 2024 to be tricky for the property market.

“The OBR expects things to get worse before they get better, as a long tail of remortgaging means more forced sellers, and sticky inflation keeps mortgage rates elevated. As a result, it thinks house prices will fall 4.7 per cent in 2024.

“It means some buyers who have been sitting on their hands may start to consider pressing pause for another year. If you’re in this position, it’s immensely frustrating. 

“But if you are aged 18-39 and are buying a first property worth less than £450,000 it could open another door. You can take this opportunity to put £4,000 of your deposit into a lifetime ISA before April, and £4,000 after April, and as long as you’re not planning to buy until 12 months after you open the LISA, the government will top it up by 25 per cent. So 2024 could at least be good for something.”


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up