Senior estate agent blames mini-budget for pipeline squeeze

Nicky Stevenson, MD at Fine & Country, says former Chancellor and PM responsible for market slowdown.

Nicky Stevenson

Senior estate agent Nicky Stevenson (main picture) believes last year’s disastrous Mini-Budget is the reason why there is a serious contraction in the housing pipeline.

Stevenson, who is MD at upmarket agency group Fine & Country, says the effect of the Chancellor’s statement in September on mortgage rates is now being felt across the property industry.

Former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng and Prime Minister Liz Truss were blamed for the turbulent economic conditions after the budget.

“The impact of last year’s Mini-Budget and the subsequent rise in mortgage rates started to feed into lower property transactions at the beginning of this year.

“Due to the length of time it takes to complete on a property, many of these sales will have been agreed just as mortgage rates spiked last autumn, resulting in a number of transactions stalling due to affordability issues,” Stevenson says.

Fall throughs

Figures from the House Buyer Bureau released in January, showed the number of fall throughs was the highest in five years.

“While we will continue to see a slowdown in sales compared to 2022 and 2021, both years were remarkable outliers, driven by the race for space and stamp duty holidays,” she says.

“We can therefore expect to see the market resettle back into historic norms over the course of 2023, starting with an uptick of activity this spring.”

Stevenson, who joined Fine & Country in 2020, says the housing market now needs an injection of confidence. Speaking ahead of the Bank of England decision to raise interest rates by 0.25% to 4.25%, she hoped there would be “very little movement”.

One Comment

  1. It would be nice to pin the fivefold increase in borrowing rates on a single event, but Stevenson overlooks the historic tendency for the Bank of England to follow the Fed. Let’s face it, we’re following a global pattern of interest rate increases, having enjoyed the longest period of sustained low interest rates since the war; with the combination of Ukraine, wholesale energy costs, Brexit and the world economy, something had to give…..

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