We would just like to start by wishing you a happy and healthy New Year.

We would just like to start by wishing you a happy and healthy New Year.

Whilst we would like to take this opportunity to look ahead at what 2024 may offer, we would also like to reflect on 2023 and summarise our key thoughts.

It is fair to say that we came into 2023 a little concerned at what the year may hold for the property market on the back of a great deal of uncertainty in the final quarter of 2022. We knew that 2023 would provide a number of challenges, which was certainly the case, with inflation spiralling upwards, consecutive interest rate rises, a general high cost of living crisis and, of course, plenty of negative headlines in the media.

All of this combined put property values under a great deal of pressure which, ultimately, led to a drop in values of approximately 10% to 12% throughout the year. Despite this, transactional levels remained quite positive and, although nationally transactions were down about 20%, we ended up on a par with the previous year. If, at the beginning of 2023, we had been offered the year we’ve just had, we can say with absolute certainty that we would have gladly accepted it. December 2023 turned out to be one of the best Decembers we have had in 20 years which has given us a lot of optimism and positivity coming into the new year.

Over the last couple of weeks, it has been well documented that lenders have been reducing their borrowing rates to compete for the business that is out there, which is ultimately good news for the consumer. Whilst the Bank of England base rate has not changed, there will undoubtedly be pressure on them to reduce this in 2024, which will ultimately lead to lower lending rates and make properties more affordable. There has been some talk in the media of late about property values falling further but, in our opinion, this will be minimal, and it could well be that we have reached, or are very close to, the bottom of the market. Our prediction then is that values will plateau for one to two years before, undoubtedly, at some point in the future getting back on the growth curve. Historic data shows that in the last 5 years property values have increased by 22% and over a 10-year period 59% in Chandler’s Ford. In summary, we are optimistic and positive about 2024 and hopefully looking ahead with better prospects for us all.

In other news, we have had much to celebrate here at Sparks Ellison in recent months with more industry awards and an increasing market share. In particular, we are delighted to share with you the number of properties we sold last year compared to those that we were asked to sell. Further details of this are shown below.

It just remains for us to once again wish you a Happy New Year. As always, we are here to help and welcome any questions you have related to the property market and the moving process.

Warmest wishes

Adam & Mark