We’re back with another home-buying market update and this month, it’s a much more positive one. Read on to learn what the mortgage and housing markets have been up to, and how these numbers might affect you.


Base rate stays stable, as inflation falls

It’s encouraging to see that inflation is finally trending in the right direction. In October, headline inflation dropped to 4.6% – its lowest rate in the last two years.¹ Remember, this means that average prices are still rising, but at a slower rate. Buoyed by this news, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee voted to hold the base rate at 5.25% in November. That’s the second time in a row they’ve made the decision to keep rates as they are.

The outlook for interest rates over the next year will depend on how fast inflation continues to fall, and how worried the Bank is that consistently high interest rates would push the economy into a recession. Some experts are now forecasting that rates could start falling from August 2024.

We’ve also seen many lenders respond positively to these signals by reducing their own rates, with many new fixed rate mortgage deals under 5% interest again. So, if you’re looking to buy a home or remortgage, and you can afford repayments at current levels, there’s no reason to delay your plans. Head in-app to Accounts > Mortgages to start a conversation with expert brokers at Moneybox Mortgages.


Mortgage lending levels turn a corner 

UK mortgage approvals are an early indicator of the number of upcoming house purchase transactions involving a mortgage, so they’re a good measure of market sentiment. Mortgage approvals have increased again, bucking the downward trend we’d seen for the previous three months. In October, the number of mortgages approved in the UK was 47,000, up from 43,000 in September.²

This is a really positive sign that buyers and remortgagers are feeling more confident about the market, with more choice in terms of available mortgage deals and competitive rates. We’re hoping this upward trend continues and that in the new year, even more people are able to get onto, or move up, the property ladder.


As the temperature cools, so does the housing market

House prices have taken a hit recently across the UK, especially in the south and east of England. Property portal Zoopla has reported that every local market in these regions has seen a decline, with prices falling at the fastest rate since 2009.³ The UK House Price Index, which tracks all sold properties across the UK, reveals a similar trend – average house prices have fallen by 0.5% since August 2023.⁴

It could be bad news if you’re looking to put your property on the market anytime soon – you may not get the asking price you’d originally hoped for. But, if you’re a first-time buyer, now might be a great time to take advantage of this moment. In recent times, house price falls are rare. So, if you’ve nearly finished saving your deposit and you’re able to afford mortgage repayments at current levels, don’t miss out on this opportunity!


¹ Source: Office of National Statistics (ONS) CPI Annual Rate of Inflation

² Source: Trading Economics, UK Mortgage Approvals for October

³ Source: Zoopla House Price Index, November 2023 

Source: GOV.UK Land Registry (UK House Price Index for September)


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