Regional Property Market Update Winter 2023: East Midlands
Posted on: Thursday, December 7, 2023
As 2023 draws to a close, the economic backdrop is slowly and steadily uplifting, with the housing market proving its resilience. Mortgage rates are normalising but buyers and sellers remain cautious.
Inflation experienced the sharpest decline in three decades, falling to 4.6% in October from 6.7% in September, now at its lowest rate since November 2021 (ONS). The economy is growing and incomes are rising, with wage growth at 7.7% in Q3 (ONS). With encouraging news, there has been an uptick in consumer confidence, increasing six points in November to -24, with improvements across all measures (GfK Consumer Confidence Tracker). The pace of house price moderation also appears to be steadying, with a net balance of 63% of property professionals reporting house prices falling in October, down from 67% in September (RICS).
Across the East Midlands, the most active housing markets are currently those of Newark and Sherwood, Lincoln and Rushcliffe, where close to one in every 30 properties has changed hands in the past year.
The sentiment is that mortgage rates may have peaked, attracting those who delayed moving over the last year. We are in a strong buyer’s market, with sellers becoming more realistic and agreeing to larger discounts. The average discount on house prices reached 5.5% in November, equivalent to £18,000 and its highest level for more than five years. Some sellers are accepting even larger discounts, with one in four sales agreed having more than a 10% discount on the asking price (Zoopla). Given the price sensitivity, understanding local market dynamics and pricing realistically are crucial to successfully securing a sale.
In the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced cuts to employee National Insurance from 12% to 10%, saving the average earner £450 per year. Reductions to National Insurance for the self-employed have also been announced, affecting an estimated 39% of landlords with five or more properties. The government has committed to supporting the building of more homes, extending the mortgage guarantee scheme and increasing the national living wage. Long-awaited reforms to the leasehold system have started their progress through Parliament, with new laws promising ‘significant new rights and protections’ that could be in motion before the next General Election.
Average rents continue to rise on an annual basis, reaching £1,279 in November, although there has been a slight month-on-month fall of 0.3% (HomeLet). Void periods increased from 14 to 18 days, indicating a seasonal cooling in demand after a hectic summer period (Goodlord). However, the market remains under strain, with 17% of agents reporting that renters are often offering above asking rent, with a further 44% saying they do so sometimes (Dataloft Poll of Subscribers). In the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced support for low-income renters by raising the Local Housing Allowance to cover the lower 30% of rents, giving 1.6 million households an average £800 p.a. of support.
Sell your property with your local expert this winter. Contact your local Guild Member today.
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Roger Coupe is an extremely professional estate agent. We worked with James (and Edward) who were just fantastic. James handled our house purchase with such reassurance that we knew we were in safe hands. The communication was great and responsive throughout. Any concerns or questions were dealt with swiftly. I would have no hesitate in recommending Roger Coupe as the 'go to' estate agent, whether you are purchasing or selling. Thank you James!
James Britton and his team provided friendly, professional and expert advice. Highly recommended if you are buying or selling in the Cranleigh area.
The team at Roger Coupe were fantastic. James was notably first-class, doing all that he could to ensure our tricky chain moved in the right direction. If we ever came to buy or sell again, we wouldn't look elsewhere but Roger Coupe.
I highly recommend Roger Coupe, as a thoroughly excellent estate agent. They were responsive, polite and friendly throughout our house purchase saga, and frankly we felt very supported and in good hands! Thank you so much to Edward and the whole team.
Edward and team were great in helping us secure our new property and help us move from offer to exchange in 6 weeks. Always on hand to push the seller and their solicitor to speed up the process. Thank-you.