Property market predictions from the OBR

Posted March 12th 2024
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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivered his Spring Budget on Wednesday, announcing a whole host of measures from taxation cuts to freezes on fuel duty. While there weren’t many announcements that concerned the property market, the more impactful announcements came from the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR).

The OBR issues a forecast alongside the government's Budget covering predictions for the economy over the next five years. Their forecast can tell us a lot about the position of the housing market and where it's headed. For homeowners and potentially sellers, the forecast is looking positive.

Earlier than expected property market recovery

The OBR predicts residential property transactions to be largely flat during 2024, a change from the previously predicted fall of 7%. It then forecasts that property sales will start to recover to pre-pandemic levels by early 2025, two years earlier than previously predicted

Strong market demand

The OBR's revision indicates a stronger market demand and resilience than was initially anticipated, offering reassurance for sellers holding off their transactions in the hope of a better market. This unexpected U-turn in the forecast could unlock a wave of previously pent-up transactions, as sellers regain confidence in the market and adapt accordingly.

Good news for sellers

The prospect of an early sales market recovery is likely to spur homeowners to act sooner rather than later, aiming to capitalize on a market that appears to be finding its footing back. House prices are then expected to grow approximately 2% in 2026 and 3.5% in 2027, mainly due to lower mortgage rate forecasts.

While none of this is guaranteed and is all dependent on broader economic factors and policy decisions, it still bodes well for the future of the housing market and sellers in general. If you're thinking of selling your property, now is the right time to make a move.
 

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