What should we expect from moving in 2024? This past year has been a turbulent one for the housing industry. Zoopla projects that the number of houses sold in 2023 will be the lowest in a decade, with house prices falling in 80% of the UK.
With home buyers facing high-interest rates and renters facing increasingly limited supply, it’s hardly surprising that the first half of the year saw the fewest home moves on record, according to Halifax. The market was tough enough to beat the previous low seen in the first half of 2020, when potential movers faced lockdown restrictions and the pandemic had thrown the global economy into turmoil.
Even at this record low, however, we still saw more than 112,000 thousand home moves in the first half of 2023. Households will still be moving in 2024, with some locations expected to be particularly popular.
Home moving in 2024: What are the predictions?
It’s hardly surprising that home movers fell to record lows in 2023. Headlines were full of the rising cost of living (as well as moving home) and of high inflation rates sending mortgage costs spiralling.
For those with existing mortgages, it’s expected that this will continue. Labour currently predict 630,000 homeowners will face rising mortgage costs before May’s general election. However, things look slightly more positive for new buyers in 2024. With inflation rates stabilising – and even beginning to fall in some sectors – economists are predicting mortgage rates could fall as low as 4.5%.
Others warn that we should expect the growth to be minimal. Economic forecast group the EY ITEM Club predict a rise of 2% net at most in mortgage loans, growing to 2.8% in 2025.
Where did people move in 2023?
Hamptons claim that 2023 was the year of the Commuterville, small towns which orbit bigger cities. The appeal is obvious – these towns offer more space and an improved standard of living at a lower cost. With more and more of the workforce in remote or hybrid positions commutes that would once have been daily ordeals have become a once-a-week inconvenience.
With remote working not going anywhere, we can expect the trend to continue – especially as rising prices and mortgage costs price more and more first-time buyers out of the major cities. Many of these Commutervilles saw property prices rising even beyond the rest of the UK. Particular hotspots were Saffron Walden near Cambridge, Foxwood near York and Honiton near Exeter.
The best places to live in the UK
Of course, choosing where to live isn’t just a matter of where’s popular. The Times has published its annual ranking of the best places to live in the UK, and we’d expect to see a rise in those interested in moving in 2024 to the shortlisted towns.
There are 72 entries included on the full list, with the South East England towns of Wadhurst, East Sussex and Chichester, West Sussex taking first and second place respectively.
The most affordable town on the list is Enniskillen, in County Fermanagh Northern Ireland, where the average property house costs £175,000. On the other end of the spectrum, London’s Notting Hill was the priciest neighbourhood to make the list with an average house price of £1,182,00.
Will those moving in 2024 keep leaving London?
One of the most apparent housing trends in recent years is the number of renters leaving London. In fact, in 2022 40% of renters moving home chose to leave the capital rather than find another London property – the highest rate in a decade.
London rents climbed higher than any other area outside of Scotland in 2023, with Scotland’s average rent rising in part because of the newly implemented rent cap. As the cost of living crisis and rental supply crisis continue we can only expect the exodus of renters from London to follow suit.
As for where those leaving London are moving in 2024, we can make predictions based on recent years. Many moving outside the capital are choosing Commuterville’s in East Surrey, Essex, Kent and Hertfordshire, staying close to London’s outer zones.
For those looking slightly further afield, while the data is slightly older Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol and Coventry were the four most popular cities among those leaving London.
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