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Will Leicester’s House Price Rise Or Fall This Year?

Last year, there was unanimity among property experts about the trajectory of the housing market: prices were sure to fall. Moreover, they did, though not as much as most expected, as the UK did not quite slip into the shallow recession predicted by the Bank of England in 2022.

While the direction of travel was correct though not the extent, there is some division over what will happen in 2024.

For example, Property Reporter has highlighted the somewhat glum forecast made by investment management firm JLL, which believes early-year optimism sparked by a mortgage price war is not justified and that prices will fall by three per cent over the course of 2024.

Those seeking to buy a house may be happy if they are first-time buyers and mortgages are cheaper, as that means bargains to be had. Those seeking to sell and move may be less pleased, with downsizers losing more from the sale of a larger home than they gain on the purchase of a smaller one.

However, the JLL view is far from unanimous. Earlier this month the i newspaper interviewed a series of experts about what they expect to happen in 2024.

Among those tipping prices to fall were Nationwide, anticipating a fall of between two and four per cent, and Zoopla, which forecasted two per cent.

Conversely, Hamptons expects prices to stay flat, while Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, forecasted a three per cent rise, taking an upbeat view of the impact of lower mortgage rates.

Those who are keeping an eye on house prices would be wise to do more than just check national trends, as they are subject to regional variations. This month’s Land Registry release showed that the drop in prices in the year to November 2023 ranged from 0.4 per cent in the north east to six per cent in London.

In the event, the three per cent drop in the East Midlands was just 0.1 per cent more than the national average, but that is no guarantee that the region will go on shadowing the national picture this year.