According to new research from the global credit ratings agency Fitch, the UK housing market is expected to trail behind several of its European neighbours over 2024.
Nominal prices in Germany and Denmark are penned to rise by 1%-3% whilst the Netherlands leads the pack with projected price rises of 3%-5% amidst strong support for first-time buyers and wage growth outstripping inflation.
On the other hand, Fitch predicts minimal growth within the UK’s housing market as a result of high mortgage costs and persistent affordability issues. David Hannah, Group Chairman of Cornerstone Tax, discusses how the UK can prioritise first-time buyers in 2024.
Last week’s decision by the Bank of England to hold the base rate of interest at 5.25% appeared to pour cold water over the mortgage price war that began in late 2023 as the nation’s leading lenders such as Halifax slashing their rates on a two-year fixed by upwards of 0.53%.
Wednesday saw Nationwide announce a 0.3% increase on select products as a result of the BoE’s announcement indicating that we may see mortgage prices firm up as hopes of a rate cut falter.
According to David Hannah, the prospective cooling of the mortgage price war should remind policymakers that their inaction can spur on dire consequences.
Whilst inflation has seen a considerable decline over the past year, experts from across the retail and housing sectors have called upon the BoE to look towards a cut to the base rate of interest as recession fears continue to permeate the UK’s macroeconomic landscape.
David Hannah, Group Chairman of Cornerstone Tax, said, “The latest data from Fitch is emblematic of a country that doesn’t take its housing market seriously, in order to get the sector back on track policymakers urgently have to prioritise first-time buyers and look towards stimulating demand within the sector.
‘To stave off a recession and get Britain buying again, it’s now clearer than ever that the BoE must urgently rethink their macroeconomic strategy.
“With inflation nearing its 2% target, policymakers should look towards cutting the base rate by at least half a percentage point at their next meeting in order to signal optimism within the wider UK economy.”