Demand within property market ‘waiting to be unleased’

House prices will remain “steady” between now and next month’s Budget – but demand within the​ property sector is waiting to “be unleashed”.

That’s the view of property expert Jonathan Rolande, who said the market got off to a strong start in 2024. Outlining what he thinks will happen next​ to house prices, Mr Rolande, the founder of House Buy Fast, said:

​”January got off to a flying start with pent-up demand seeing enquiries to agents rise by 30%. A strong sales month followed. Many banks dropped their mortgage rates after the Bank of England held rates steady.  Sellers and estate agents sensed increasing buyer confidence and asking prices began to rise although in reality, the price most homes achieved was suppressed.

In short, until the start of the year, the pendulum had swung too far against sellers, the market was unbalanced in precisely the opposite way of the years before. The market looked to have normalised, with neither buyer nor seller holding too much power in a transaction. And, despite a quieter February than many had hoped for, that’s where we are now.​ Price a property right and you’ll sell but the boom times are over for now at least.”

Describing the current level of market activity he said that here is “still a lot of demand from buyers”. He continued:

“And much of that demand is pent-up yet again as people feel priced out by house-prices and mortgage rates. But that demand is there, waiting to be unleashed.​ And whispers around Westminster are that unleashing it may be a last roll of the dice for the incumbent party. It is after all one of the few things entirely within the control of ​t​he government. Other than setting interest rates, they control policy and it seems increasingly likely that there will be a buyer giveaway in the near future.”

Until the Budget in March, we’re unlikely to see the hand of the Government in the property market. Those in the sector are awaiting events. Some buyers have also adopted a ‘wait and see’ approach, fearful of missing out on the latest incentive to buy.

​So until then, expect more of the same. The market will not run away, it will be a steady walking pace to the Budget. We do not expect interest rates to change in the short term.​ The Budget, on the 6th March might well be the thing that lights the blue touch paper under the property market.”

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