State of Your Local Property Market: February 2024

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Chapter 2 of 12 in the 2024 monthly property market overviews tells a story of resilience and hope. The UK housing market has experienced a sustained increase in buyer engagement in the beginning of the year, aided by the recent reduction in mortgage interest rates. A recent article from Financial Reporter highlighted “buyer demand is at its strongest since February 2022”.

The current landscape

We asked the owner of Sims Williams, Richard Moores (MNAEA,) for his comments about what’s been going on in February:

“The housing market is continuing to show good signs of activity as we enter Spring. A combination of pent up demand and a more encouraging economic outlook has meant a busy first couple of months to 2024.

Whilst correct pricing is still an important factor, we are seeing good levels of activity across all price ranges with sales up considerably on the same time last year.

If you are considering moving this year then our advice would be to get your property on the market and make any potential buyers aware that you will only be moving if you can find a suitable replacement home.

With the ‘mortgage maze’ as  complicated as ever, getting independent FREE ADVICE from a reputable mortgage advisor is one of the most important things you should do before taking the plunge.

We work with some of the region’s most highly regarded Independent Mortgage Advisors who would be happy to call and discuss your moving plans.

For FREE ADVICE on the aspect of moving, please do not hesitate to call any of our 4 local branches and “Let’s Get Moving”.

Mortgage rates 

The Bank of England (BoE) decided to maintain the base interest rate at 5.25% in their first decision of 2024 (1st February 2024). This rate has been unchanged since September 2023, with the last adjustment being an increase to 5.25% in August 2023, reaching a 16-year peak.

Despite having kept this rate steady for a few months, a number of financial analysts anticipate that the BoE’s monetary policy committee (MPC) will reduce the base rate later this year, considering the notable drop in inflation in recent months.

As of Thursday 29th February 2024, the current average mortgage rates are shown below:

Whether you’re moving or simply remortgaging, we have access to independent mortgage advisers that can give you advice when you need it. Contact us on 01243 551368.

Rental market review 

We caught up with David Vawdrey, Lettings Manager at Sims Williams to hear how February 2024 has fared in the lettings side of business:

“The lettings market remains robust, with demand still outstripping supply. Rent levels are steady, with no discernible difference between January and February being apparent. The market is slightly patchy, with demand greater for properties under £2,000 than for those over £2,000 a month, but there is generally good demand for all reasonable properties. A pattern that seems to have developed in the last six months is of fewer tenants moving from one rented property to another, which contributes to the overall shortage of stock. We believe that the reason for this is the ongoing cost of living, but as the year goes on, we expect confidence to return, particularly if, as expected, interest rates come down.

Encouragingly, we have seen a return to the market of some buy to let investors. With interest rates having peaked, the return on ISAs and investments generally is likely to fall,  and with rents as strong as they are, yields of 5% or more are readily achievable for landlords. We offer a bespoke buy to let advisory service, with no initial obligation, for those seeking to invest in property locally.

Legislation update: there has been a call for the Renter’s Reform Bill to be watered down, with particular reference to the duration of tenancies, with some MPs proposing that landlords will still be able to stipulate a minimum of six monthly tenancies. We will continue to monitor the updates from our leading industry body, Propertymark”.

The road ahead

The Prime Minister has hinted at a poll in the second half of 2024. Elections typically introduce uncertainty into the property market, so for people who are serious about moving home this year, we recommend acting sooner rather than later.

It remains a buyer’s market, with an influx of new properties, especially larger family homes, which is helping to stabilise prices. Increased mortgage payments will also keep buyers cautious about prices. Therefore, sellers looking for a quick sale in 2024 should keep their pricing realistic.

Price compromise is crucial in today’s price-sensitive environment. This belief is shared with the experts at Propertymark. Nathan Emerson, Chief Executive of Propertymark, explains that adjustments are needed to align valuations with market expectations as we continue to progress further into 2024. The beginning of the year is expected to remain active, but the overall pace will rely on economic stability and policy decisions. Sellers are advised not to set overly high prices and to consult with local agents familiar with the neighbourhood’s housing market. 

Sims Williams are estate and letting agents with offices in Arundel, Bognor Regis, Chichester and The Six Villages. For expert advice on all things property or for a free no obligation market appraisal, do contact your local Sims Williams office. We are here to guide you through every step of your journey, providing professional advice, support and guidance you can trust. 

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What our clients say

Excellent Service

Excellent and courteous service from everyone we spoke to regarding our search for a suitable rental property to finally securing the right place for us.
Valerie - Tenant - Jun 29th, 2021

Sim-ply the best!

The ladies of the Arundel Sims Williams branch are magnificent! Friendly, helpful and patient. Always call back. Genuinely caring. Professional and cool in a crisis. They hold your hand every step of the way, and make the very stressful process of selling and buying as smooth as it could possibly be. Would thoroughly recommend.
Freya - Vendor - Jun 22nd, 2021

5 Star Service

We truly couldn’t have had a better agent representing us in the sale of our property the service we received from start to finish was nothing short of 5 star. John consistently went above and beyond throughout the entire process. He well and truly exceeded our expectations and made what is the most stressful time far easier. Thank you John and Sims for all you have done we truly appreciate everything you did to facilitate the sale of our property.
Mr & Mrs O’Malley - Vendors - Oct 14th, 2022

Excellent service

I have bought and sold a number of properties through the lovely ladies at SW, Arundel. They are always professional and reliable but with a personal touch, which is most appreciated at what can be a very stressful time. The ladies are always just a phone call away if reassurance is needed at any time and they work very closely with a client's solicitor, cutting out the need to be constantly chasing every stage of the transactions. I highly recommend SW. I think and want this is going to be my 'forever' home but they've heard that one before so no doubt I will be in touch in due course but maybe just to say hello!
Vendor & Buyer - 29.11.2022 - Nov 29th, 2022

Excellent Letting Team

The Chichester team has been managing our seven West Sussex rental properties for the last few years and we highly recommend them. Efficient, knowledgeable, organized, and pleasant to deal with. The service they offer is great value for money and leaves us confident that our tenants and properties will be well looked after.
JB Properties - Landlord - Dec 13th, 2023

Repeat statement request

I had to query a statement on my account as I was in the process of completing a tax return. Having requested a repeat statement and receiving it very promptly, I realised I'd asked for the wrong one. The correct one was sent with an explanation of the details. Again efficiently sent out to me on the same day. Many thanks to Jo Mallett
Helen - Landlord - Apr 17th, 2023

Great Experience

Our experience of buying a property through Sims Williams in Walberton was faultless. Always updated on progress and answered any questions we had . Thank you .
Buyer - Jan 27th, 2023

Thank you to Sims Williams!

We love Sims Williams! As very happy tenants of a property in Arundel, we would like to pass on our thanks to Jo and team at Sims Williams Chichester. Jo is absolutely fab- making the rental process such a breeze and all steps a very relaxing experience. Thanks again! Marina and Edward x
Marina and Edward - Tenant - Jan 21st, 2023

Excellent Service!

All the staff involved at office were always quick to return answers to the question asked. This enabled quick response for sale to go through with liaison with solicitors.
Buyer - Peter - Jan 16th, 2023

EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE

I can't praise the Walberton team enough - really wish they had been are agents for selling our property as they were so efficient, organised and the customer service was fantastic. Prompt responses and nothing was to much trouble. Especially Lin - who's calm approach kept me sane and rational!
Lisa J - Buyer - Sep 4th, 2020