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The Only Way Is Up

21.01.24

After a year of sustained price falls in 2023, global property consultancy Knight Frank have forecast that house prices will increase by upwards of 3% by the end of 2024, continuing the small rise witnessed in the final few months of the year. Experts from across the housing sector have pinned this prediction on the anticipation of an interest rate cut by the Bank of England later this year, with a majority of leading economists forecasting at least two cuts to the base rate by the end of 2024.

These predictions have been fuelled primarily by a continued decline to the rate of inflation, with the recent announcement from the ONS revealing a further decrease following the cooldown of wage growth and the pursuit of aggressive promotional strategies from vendors over the festive period. Group Chairman of Cornerstone Tax, Britain’s leading property tax consultancy, David Hannah, calls upon the BoE to cut interest rates at their next meeting in a bid to further the housing market’s momentum towards recovery following a tumultuous 2023.

Downward inflationary trends in the retail sector and recession fears have led many experts to agree that interest rates have now reached their apex at 5.25% following three consecutive decisions to pause increases to the base rate. In the months following, a majority of the nation’s leading mortgage lenders have been engaged in a price war as the average rate for a five-year fixed fell from 6.37% last August to the current price of 5.66%. This trend is expected to continue into the year, with HSBC announcing a five-year fixed remortgage deal of 3.94% in the first week of 2024.

According to Group Chairman of Cornerstone Tax, Britain’s leading property tax consultancy, David Hannah, these cuts have been driven principally by the expected cut to the base rate of interest, as all signs point towards a continued downward trend to inflation, the BoE is at serious risk of overshooting its 2% target. In order to stave off growing recession fears, the Monetary Policy Committee has a responsibility to listen to the property market at their next meeting in February and prioritise the wellbeing of prospective homeowners looking to take their first step on the property ladder.

David adds: “The recent inflation announcement revealed a continuation of the trend we’ve all been witnessing since the BoE’s initial decision to pause interest rates. With November’s figures reporting a two-year low of 3.9% - the BoE would be playing with fire if they didn’t at least think about a cut to the base rate of interest.”

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