Nathan Emerson, CEO of Propertymark, has expressed a cautiously optimistic outlook for the UK property market, suggesting that the worst of the recent turmoil might be over. However, he emphasises the need for continued vigilance, acknowledging that recovery is a gradual process.
Reflecting on the latest Nationwide figures, which showed a 1.8% decrease in house prices last year, Emerson described the past 12 months as “challenging” for the housing sector. He pointed out the detrimental impact of high inflation and elevated interest rates, noting these factors led to a more cautious approach from market participants.
Despite these challenges, Emerson sees signs of recovery. “Over the last few months, we have seen initial positivity starting to return, with inflation steadily coming back down and interest rates holding steady,” he stated.
Looking ahead to 2024, Emerson raised concerns about the impending end of fixed-rate mortgage deals for nearly 1.4 million UK households. With Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Spring Budget scheduled for 6 March 2024, Emerson is advocating for housing to be a central focus.
“Housing plays a pivotal role in every community across the entire UK,” Emerson said, emphasizing the importance of maintaining momentum in the housing supply to meet demand. He urged the government to announce innovative strategies in the Spring Budget to support diverse sectors of society, from first-time buyers to long-term renters.
Recognising the complexity of housing issues, Emerson hopes the Budget will offer “an accelerated level of support, innovation, and incentives” to encourage a varied housing mix, essential for keeping pace with evolving needs.