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The essential mortgage and housing market update for first time buyers, home movers and remortgages

This year has brought a lot of changes to the housing market and mortgages, so here’s a handy guide to how that could affect you, including predictions for 2024.

We’ll break down how the market and mortgage interest rates impact first time buyers, those considering moving home, and owners that need to remortgage.

While Christmas might be the only thing on your mind right now, we know from experience that New Year is often the busiest time for mortgage enquiries.

In fact, Boxing Day 2022 saw a record number of sellers list their property on Rightmove, and last Boxing Day week, Rightmove saw views of properties for sale jump by 20%.

It goes to show once we’ve opened the presents and polished off the turkey, we’re ready to focus on a new start for January. So, Beewise are here to keep you informed and help you make your next move!

Scroll down to read on, or if you’d rather get tailored advice from your local Beewise mortgage expert click here to arrange a call, or ring 01934 204841.

Your guide to the current housing market

After murmurs of a housing crash at the end of 2022, we’re pleased to announce it’s positive news for the market!

Despite predictions that property prices would fall over 10%, asking prices are only 1.3% lower than this time last year according to Rightmove .

This is great for the general housing market, and because it shows we’re in a more stable situation than forecast after the government’s 2022 Autumn Statement.

Homebuyers can feel confident to carry on with purchases, knowing their investment isn’t predicted to suddenly drop in value. And, those who bought homes last year can breathe a sigh of relief too!

As well as monitoring figures and predictions, Beewise mortgage advisors also stay up to date with the housing market through our links with local estate agents, feedback from clients, and our own personal experience.

And, we’ve definitely seen a drop in the hectic nature of homebuying over the last 18 months.

Depending on the area you live in, property sales are starting to return to a more ‘normal’ timescale, with buyers able to book second viewings, and have time to thoroughly consider purchases before making an offer.

If you’re thinking of moving or buying your first home, give us a call on 01934 204 841, or email to discuss the area you’re looking to purchase.

Beewise work across the whole of the UK, so contact us today for expert advice. And, check out this beginner’s guide if you’re a first time buyer.

What’s happening to mortgage rates right now?

After 14 consecutive base rate rises across 2022 and 2023, the Bank of England finally stopped hiking rates this September!

Although there’s no guarantee the base rate won’t increase again, no changes at both September and November’s reviews is another good indicator the market is starting to stabilise.

The previous rises had a huge impact on mortgage interest rates, but were a response to rising inflation, and an attempt to reduce it to the Bank of England’s target of 2%.

We started January 2023 at a sky-high inflation rate of 10.1%, but the latest figure is 4.7%, and the Bank of England seem to be more confident about the direction the economy is going.

The stability in the economy is having a positive impact on current mortgage interest rates, and we’re seeing lenders start to reduce these – good news for anyone looking to buy or remortgage.

Lower mortgage rates can mean lower monthly payments or a shorter mortgage term, meaning your mortgage could be paid off more quickly.

And they could increase the amount you can borrow, with affordability potentially improving if monthly payments come down.

To find out predictions for mortgage rates in 2024, scroll down. But, if you’re looking to buy then get in touch now! Your local Beewise advisor can calculate maximum borrowing and monthly payments for you personally.

If your fixed rate mortgage is coming to an end next year, we’d also recommend contacting us. Beewise can secure a new deal 6 months in advance, plus we’ll keep an eye on the market and switch it to a new one if a better option comes up.

Should first time buyers wait, or invest right now?

We’d always recommend talking your specific situation through with Beewise – call 01934 204 841 to chat to your local advisor today.

But, with the end of 2023 bringing more stability to the housing and mortgage market, if you’re able to buy then now’s a good a time as any!

It’s worth considering that if you’re in a rented property right now, that’s equivalent to a 100% interest rate – not a single penny is going towards clearing your own mortgage.

And with properties not getting snapped up as quickly you’ll have time to find the dream home, and maybe even negotiate on the asking price.

If you’re thinking of buying in 2024, getting a mortgage in principle before you start viewing is vital. It’ll give you a clear picture of your buying potential, and your local Beewise advisor could secure one within 24 hours of receiving your paperwork.

You might have checked online calculators, but we’ll work out accurate borrowing figures so there’s no nasty surprises when you do get an offer accepted.

Plus, we’ll work out potential monthly payment options, advise on other buying costs you might incur, and more. Contact us to arrange an initial call so you can make an informed decision on what’s right for you.

How does the housing market affect selling a home?

There are always ups and downs with moving house, but you should consider your current position and the wider market.

While mortgage interest rates might still be higher than the last few years, your Beewise advisor can look at ways to get future monthly payments to fit your budget if you’re looking to upsize.

And, when mortgage interest rates are low, properties tend to be in higher demand - AKA more expensive! So, it’s worth looking to make your move now.

If you’re fixed into a deal with your current lender, we can also consider switching your mortgage to a new property, keeping your current rate and even borrowing more on top.

Your local advisor will look into all options, comparing rates and monthly payments across the mortgage market to make sure you’re getting the most suitable deal.

If you’re looking to downsize we’ll review your current mortgage in the same way, and you could potentially get more house for your money than this time last year!

It’s also important to consider why you’re looking to buy and sell. A property investor views the market in a completely different way to someone with a growing family, or with a house that’s too big for their needs.

We’ll discuss more detailed predictions for the 2024 market later, but if you contact your local Beewise advisor we’ll talk through the possibilities of improving your life right now!

When should you remortgage if your fixed rate is ending?

With recent reductions to mortgage interest rates, it could be tempting to hang fire on remortgaging, or waiting until your fixed rate ends to do so.

But, here are 3 reasons why Beewise should secure you a new rate sooner rather than later:

1. Reserving a new rate up to 6 months in advance means you can prevent stress by budgeting for potential payment increases now.

Until your new mortgage goes into effect, your local advisor will also keep an eye on market changes, switching you to a new deal if a more suitable rate comes up.

2. The remortgage process can take a couple of months, depending on the legal work required.

Leaving it till the end of your current deal means you could switch to the lender’s standard variable rate if the new one doesn’t go through in time, paying considerably more each month.

3. Staying on the lender’s standard variable rate and hoping mortgage deals reduce may seem like a good option, but there’s no guarantee the base rate – and lender’s variable rates – won’t increase again.

There’s usually an overall saving by switching to a new deal now vs paying more each month in the hope rates drop, but your Beewise advisor will happily calculate that for you!

We can also look at wider range of products for you, from tracker mortgages that follow the Bank of England base rate to deals with no early repayment charges.

That way, you could secure a rate now and potentially switch to a fixed deal later in the year. As mortgage experts, we’ll work out all the options available so you’re fully informed.

Predictions for 2024 mortgage and housing market

Definitely what we’re asked for most right now! Beewise always stay informed on both the current market and future predictions through personal experience, contacts at estate agents and lenders, and financial forecasts.

However, unforeseen changes in the market – be it the government, a pandemic or war – can mean predictions change quickly, so it’s hard to say what’ll happen in 2024.

But, we’re hoping the economic stability in the UK over the last couple of months will continue in the new year, and it’s predicted any changes will be slow and steady.

With regards to mortgages, the base rate is thought to have peaked, and markets are predicting the Bank of England could start cutting interest rates as soon as June 2024.

However, more cautious forecasts say this will happen towards the third quarter of next year, but it’s anticipated the base rate will drop from its current 5.25% to 4% by the end of 2024.

This would generally translate to lenders keeping their rates steady through the first half of the year, then reducing their rates as the base rate comes down.

But, most lenders base mortgage interest on swap rates, the rate at which they secure money for their fixed mortgages, and other factors such as profit and service levels.

So, the best way to keep on top of the mortgage market is to follow Beewise on Instagram and Facebook! We’ll always share the latest news on our socials, and keep you informed with helpful advice and expert guidance.

For the housing market, there’s a predicted fall between 2% and 4.7%. The outlook for house prices is always more varied as it’s especially sensitive to changes in interest rates and inflation.

It was always expected there would be a drop across the market from 2022’s peak levels though, and it’s worth remembering that 2023’s predicted drop was nowhere near the actual reduction.

This is good news for buyers – as mentioned previously, the housing market slowing up means properties don’t sell as quickly, giving you time for a second viewing or even to negotiate on price.

Overall, we’re hopeful 2024 will be a much calmer year for the housing and mortgage market, with any changes being positive ones!

Whether you’re looking to move, buy your first home, or remortgage, call 01934 204 841 or email to find out how Beewise can help.

Awarded Silver for South West Mortgage Advisor Office and Bronze for Best Mortgage Office in the UK 2023, you’re in safe hands with Beewise FS Ltd. Check out our 250 5 star Google reviews here.

Looking for more expert advice? Check out these other helpful blog posts!

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