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Your December market update

Are interest rates going up *again*? And what will happen with the market over the holidays? We've got you covered in our December market update.

ways to boost

The end of 2022 is here — and it’s certainly been a busy year for the housing market. We’ve seen heady highs, falters, interest rate disasters, and about 45 different governments, but we’ve made it. Just about. Although even as we approach the finish line, there are still some headlines about the housing market making a splash. 

So what’s happening? Are interest rates still changing? And what does the holiday season mean for demand in the market? We’ve got you covered.

Are interest rates going up and mortgage rates coming down?

Here we go again. The Bank of England has met and put interest rates up again. That being said, we’ve started to see some interest rates come down on mortgages from their eye-watering spike a month or two ago. 

Why would mortgage rates be going down if the Bank of England has put rates up? Weren’t the Bank of England interest rate rises the whole reason that they went up in the first place? All very, very good questions.

Well, it may be that mortgage lenders are being less jumpy because the long-term forecast is looking slightly less dramatic than it was a month or two ago. Slightly

According to Martin Lewis (who let’s be honest, knows his stuff), “the longer-term prediction is now that UK rates will peak around 4.5% or 4.75% in 2023, possibly by spring - not the circa 6% or more that was predicted after the calamitous September mini-budget announcement”. 

That being said, even with it looking like rates may dip, it’s important to be realistic. “I've heard some people saying things like 'when we return to sub-2% rates’. Actually, while those low rates lasted for years, historically they are an anomaly, far lower than anything before,” he explains. “There is no rule that rates must return to that level - they may, but it's possible 4% to 5%, or owt else, will become the normal range in future.”

Historically, there is a huge surge in browsers looking at homes on Boxing Day — whether that’s just lazy, chocolate-fuelled browsing or serious buyers on the prowl."

A holiday peak? Or a holiday lull?

With many of us taking time off and celebrating the holidays in the next few weeks, it’s like the housing market isn’t going to be top of your mind — but maybe it is. There are some mixed messages about the holidays and the housing market. Basically, the way it normally plays out is there is a little lull in the market in the lead-up to the holidays, but then this is offset by a big Boxing Day bounce.

Historically, there is a huge surge in browsers looking at homes on Boxing Day — whether that’s just lazy, chocolate-fuelled browsing or serious buyers on the prowl. But there can also be a bounce in listings going live on the 26th, as people get ready to hit the ground running in the New Year. 

But there are no guarantees. Obviously, as we’ve been talking about for the past couple of months, we’re currently seeing a dip in demand — and a dip in prices. So we’d be wary of anyone who says they know exactly what will happen. Even if we do see our normal Boxing Day bounce, which is likely, we’ll just have to wait and see how that translates into the first few months of the new year. Many experts are still expecting a dip in price, although it may be a more modest one than expected.

But only time will tell. If you’re a buyer or a seller, the holiday period can be a good time to capitalise on increased listings and browsing — especially on Boxing Day. As for the rest, we'll be back here in January to talk you through it.