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 CUSTOMER SERVICE

Very good and thorough service in helping to rent out our property. Communication is excellent and nothing is ever too much bother. Constantly kept in contact along each step of renting out. Would highly recommend using this company.
Jo and Warren - Landlord - Sep 29th, 2020

No Hesitation Recommending Sims Williams

Sims Williams have always provided constructive development advice on various schemes for us. Their local knowledge on both house type demand and suitable blends, together with their extensive research of comparable prices, gives me great confidence in the information they provide. Having successfully marketed our Holly Tree Grove development of 7 executive homes, I would have no hesitation in recommending the services of Sims Williams. Their local knowledge, proactive marketing and advice on values was second to none.
Mark Hobden - Director Hanbury Properties Limited -

SELLING MY PROPERTY

The whole process from start to finish was excellent service. I couldn’t recommend the team at Arundel more highly. A special mention to Emma Taylor who followed the final exchange through with much effort reviewing the chain that was below the buyers final completion. Well done with the final Result!
Robbie - Vendor - Dec 16th, 2020

Highly Recommend!

My family and I can’t thank John Richards-Wyatt and his team enough for all their patience and help with the sale of our family home. From the initial meeting a year ago to the conclusion recently they have shown compassion and understanding with a very emotional sale. Thank you.
Jones Family - Vendor - Feb 6th, 2023

THINKING ABOUT RENTING?

I have bought and sold houses through sims williams over the past few years, in October we decided to rent our house for a year. We were very uneasy about should we, what if etc. We called David to have a chat, he put our minds at rest and we went ahead and went on the rental market. 4 viewing within 48 hours and its rented. The Chichester branch is just brilliant and you feel they are there for you. Give him a call if you're wondering about selling/Renting.
Patricia w - Landlord - Jan 7th, 2021

Brilliant, helpful and friendly!

Being a first time landlord, David at Sims Williams has been brilliant. Answering my 100's of questions and advising on what I needed to complete to rent my house. I've spoken to some of the ladies in the offices too (sorry I can't remember names) but have all been so lovely and helpful. If you are looking to rent your property then don't hesitate to speak to Sims Williams, and I assume if you are looking to rent, you should do the same! Thank you all so much!
Claire - Landlord - Jul 29th, 2023

Amazing service from start to finish

We had a fantastic experience with Sims Williams when we purchased our new home, the staff were personable, helpful and professional throughout the entire process. Would certainly recommend!
Chris Hicks - Buyer - Jul 6th, 2021

Swift Dealings

Good experience, swift response and support when I needed landlord to reconsider decision. Happy with the service would fully recommend.
Claire - Tenant - Apr 26th, 2021

Excellent Service

Rented a house through Sims Williams in Chichester and it was a seamless, easy experience thanks to the very professional (and courteous) service provided by David.
Margaret - Tenant - Jan 25th, 2023

FIRST CLASS SERVICE, HELP AND ADVICE

THE SERVICE WAS SECOND TO NONE, PROMPT, VERY PROFESSIONAL AND COMFORTABLE.
MIKE - Tenant - Jan 25th, 2020