"The main factor that would help achieve a relatively ‘soft landing’ for 2023 is if we see a continual balance between the levels of property coming onto the market and the number of sales that can be agreed and there are already certainly good reasons to be optimistic on this front.
The surprise growth in the economy during the last few weeks, including many mortgage lenders adjusting rates to fuel an increase in the level of new mortgages undoubtedly suggests that the horizon isn’t quite as dark as our wonderfully optimistic British media would allow us to believe. Even the Bank of England have said that they expect any slow-down to be shallow.
With the warm winter across much of Europe also taking the sting out of gas wholesale prices, annual inflation is likely to drop sharply in the coming months. “It does mean that there is far more optimism now and it certainly looks as though we will get through this year with an easier path”, said Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey.
Rightmove have also reported that they have seen signs of positivity in just the first three weeks of January, with buyer demand up 4% compared to the same time period since 2019. They even went onto report that the 5th January was the third busiest day ever for homeowners asking agents to value their property-a natural first step to selling as we know.
Meanwhile the average asking price of property hitting the market actually increased by 0.9% at the start of this year too, of course time will tell if buyers agree to this increase, however, all of this is exceptionally positive for the housing market. It’s also worth remembering that in all of this, the value of the typical home remains high by historical standards, which is also good news for homeowners.
So, as we now race head-long into yet another year, I certainly feel that based on all the information we now have, and the statistics that we are already seeing along with the general feel of positivity within the market, I would like to think that we are certainly looking at a year that leaves any critics out in the cold and far more confidence for everyone else as a result."
Jason Guard, Partner.