He may not have been referring to the housing market. But, based on recent forecasts, he may as well have been.
Right now it’s very hard to estimate where the market is going. If we are to believe the Office for Budget Responsibility it’s all doom and gloom. They are predicting a 4.7 percent drop in prices this year.
Knight Frank, the property giant, isn’t too far behind – suggesting a four per cent drop.
The only positivity comes from Pantheon Economics who have put their heads above parapet and have gone for a five per cent increase.
House price predictions have varied greatly
So, according to these predictions, the owner of an average property at £285,000 can expect to either lose £13,500 this year, or make £14,500 – a differential of £27,000!
It’s little wonder homeowners and buyers don’t know what to do for the best.
So who is right? The truth is nobody can say for sure. The UK residential property is a £9trillion a year business. It is affected by currency changes, interest rates, inflation, and much, much more.
It is surprisingly robust, but will take a hit every time there is strife in the world – Covid virtually shut the market down, but prices rose.
The war in Ukraine pushed up inflation which in turn forced up mortgage rates, but the market didn’t crash like many predicted.
But it is now safer to assume the worst of the market volatility is now behind us.
Inflation is coming down, base rates have not increased for a number of months and lenders are discounting mortgages – much to the relief of buyers and homeowners coming off fixed rates.
Stamp Duty thresholds have been raised so most first-timers don’t pay it at all. I’d love to see it scrapped entirely for downsizers. This would help to spark demand and would also aid the lack of supply we are seeing in many areas.
The General Election will also put property centre stage and we can expect this to further boost confidence.
Expect both the major parties to pledge a major house-building programme.
The worst could be behind us, says property expert Jonathan Rolande
And they will pair this with fiscal giveaways looking to try and support first time buyers.
Pledges too will be made to try and help rescue Generation Rent. The price and availability of good, affordable rental homes will remain a massive issue through 2024. I expect rents to continue to rise – both inside and outside of London.
So what do I think about prices? I’ll take a risk and say it: recovery. As we move towards the spring the market will pick up pace slowly with buyers growing in confidence. We’ll end 2024 with prices two per cent to three per cent higher than they are now, if outside forces don’t disrupt the market.
The rise could be even higher outside London. Parts of the north west and south west are already seeing positive movement. This is likely to carry on.
So I am predicting 2024 will be a year of recovery.
But if I’m wrong at least it will prove Mr Farage was right – and that predictions are indeed a mug’s game.
Jonathan Rolande – property expert from the National Association of Property Buyers