Cash will be king in 2024, says Auction House

UK auctioneers, Auction House are warning that it is too early to start celebrating a property market recovery despite easing interest rates and shrinking inflation

Related topics:  Auctions,  Finance,  Property Market
Property | Reporter
4th December 2023
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"Vendors who are unwilling to accept this reality are seeing their properties languishing on the market for months at a time without so much as a whisper of interest"
- Jeremy Prior - Auction House

The cold winds of reality are taking a firm hold within the housing market as vendors experience some of the hardest selling conditions in thirty years.

Despite reports that the property industry is proving to be resilient, UK auctioneers, Auction House, see it differently.

Against a backdrop of easing interest rates and a reduced inflation rate of 4.6%, many maintain that the housing market is still buoyant, but Auction House warn that it is too early to see this as a sign of recovery.

The UK House Price Index reveals that, on average, homes are selling for £18,000 below the asking price. In the last 12 months, property prices have fallen by 1.2% and Auction House are seeing values down as much as 30% from the highs of 2021.

This downward trend appears to be far from over, as The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has forecast that UK house prices will plummet by a further 4.7% in 2024.

As the cost-of-living crisis continues to damage buyer budgets, the number of homes available for sale is 34% higher than last year. With less competition, buyers have been leveraging their strong bargaining position to secure sales with substantial discounts.

Auction House cautions that vendors will need to keep pricing competitively if they’re serious about selling. The current climate undoubtedly favours buyers, and those re-entering the market are taking advantage of the opportunity to acquire properties at levels that have not been witnessed in a generation.

Jeremy Prior, Managing Director of Auction House, commented: “Vendors who are unwilling to accept this reality are seeing their properties languishing on the market for months at a time without so much as a whisper of interest.”

He continued: "The expression, ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ has never rung so true and owners of property wishing or needing to sell must do exactly that. Do not be persuaded to hang in there at unrealistic price levels recommended by the ever-eager estate agent wishing to boost the stock levels on their register, the simple truth is that the property will not sell.”

As a nationwide group of auctioneers, Auction House are on track to sell in excess of 4,500 properties this year.

Jeremy Prior says: “Thousands of sellers have accepted the pragmatic and honest advice of our local experts and have successfully sold their properties to buyers who are in a position to immediately proceed with the purchase.”

As cash buyers are poised to become the largest buying group in 2024, the saying ‘Cash is King’ is more accurate than ever. Amidst mortgages reaching their highest level in over ten years, the industry has experienced a significant shift towards buyers making purchases without relying on loans.

The new year looks set to be a turning point for the industry, and whether you’re buying or selling, it's crucial to obtain expert advice to successfully negotiate this challenging market.

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