Sellers and buyers are returning but have very different expectations
Crystal balls had been polished, a mini-budget had wreaked havoc, the economy was tipping into recession and there was only one way that property prices could go — and that was down.
Then, amid the reports of thousands of pounds being shaved off prices by hard-bartering buyers, Rightmove surprised everyone this week by reporting that the average asking price has risen by more than £3,000 in the past month.
The figures were published on the same day that Andrew Bailey, the Bank of England governor, told MPs that the mortgage market had “pretty much” recovered from the chaos prompted by the mini-budget of Kwasi Kwarteng, the short-lived chancellor, in September.
This week high street lenders including HSBC, Santander and Yorkshire Building Society cut interest rates on fixed-mortgage deals to a three-month low — down to about 5.5 per cent on a two-year fix, having peaked at more than 6.6 per cent at the end of October, according to the analyst Moneyfacts. And estate agents report that the easing of mortgage rates is enticing buyers and sellers back to the market.
We ask what it all means, and whether the predictions of drastic drops in house prices in 2023 have been proven wrong within weeks of the new year starting.