Traditional ‘Spring bounce’ will return this year, says big agency

Fine & Country’s Nicky Stevenson says there is cautious optimism amongst industry experts and homeowners alike as Spring approaches.

Nicky Stevenson

With Spring just two weeks away there are encouraging signs of a more buoyant year ahead for property, driven by increasing home mover activity, latest analysis by Fine & Country claims.

Nicky Stevenson (main picture), the agency’s MD, reckons house prices have displayed more resilience against higher mortgage rates than previously assumed.


She says: “Lloyds Banking Group has revised its house price forecasts, now anticipating softer price moderation throughout 2024 than was anticipated a few months ago. A -2.2% decline is now projected, with the possibility of returning to positive growth next year, these revised forecasts reflect a more optimistic outlook for the housing market.”

Stevenson also points to recent statistics compiled by Rightmove, showing that the average new seller asking price experienced a 0.9% rise between January and February.

She says: “The average prices are now up by 0.1% year-on-year, marking an uptick in market confidence. This increase follows a period of annual declines since August 2023, suggesting a potential turning point in the market.”


Alongside changes in house price projections and a downward move in inflation data from Moneyfacts also reveals that average rates on both 2-year and 5-year fixed-rate mortgages have fallen for six consecutive months.

Stevenson says: “A host of lenders are offering rates below 5% and even 4%, whereas in November 2023 no lenders offered fixed rates below this level.

Stability and accessibility could fuel further growth in home purchases.”

“Mortgage rates are expected to remain within the 4% to 5% range, potentially moving a little lower over 2024, but this depends on the Bank Rate and if there is a cut later this year. The mortgage market exhibiting stability and accessibility could potentially fuel further growth in home purchases.”

And she adds: “The data we’re seeing points towards a more balanced and active property market compared to recent months. With increasing buyer demand, improved supply levels, and more favourable mortgage rates, we are cautiously optimistic about the year ahead.”

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