Bank of England interest rate announcement | 20 June 2024

The Bank of England has today held the base rate at its current level of 5.25%.

Yesterdays announcement that inflation had finally been wrestled to its target of 2% was certainly welcome news. However the reality is that with costs for things like food and utilities still significantly higher than they were 3 years ago, Britain’s consumers are still feeling the pinch and keeping a very close eye on their levels of expenditure.

As a result it is not likely that the base rate will begin its long awaited downward trend until later in the year.

Unless you have a, probably very sensible, self imposed media black out you will be aware that there is an General Election in 2 weeks time. This is not the forum to debate politics but whatever the outcome it should bring a degree of stability for the housing market for an undefined period of time.

With the highest interest rates and inflation for almost a generation and the uncertainty of political direction there has been an almost perfect storm that has decimated confidence in the housing market. As we have previously reported, confidence is its oxygen so hopefully any degree of stability that we see in the second half of the year will see things improve and buyers and tenants will have more stock to choose from.

At PLG we agree a significant number of purchases and rentals each month across the UK which gives us an excellent view of the housing market at any given moment. At the time of writing we can see that, whilst there has not been a huge upturn in stock levels this year, vendors and landlords are being a little more realistic in their asking prices.

Indeed, since the start of the pandemic it has been almost impossible to agree any transaction below asking prices whereas in the last few months we have been able to negotiate some very attractive deals for our clients.

Hopefully, even if we are not quite at the end of the crisis in the housing market, we’re probably now seeing the beginning of the end of a pretty torrid time for those who want or need to move to a new home.

When we reach a normal market (whatever that is!) is very much up for debate but for now the fact that PLG’s clients have a much greater chance of getting a deal done is a big positive and a step in the right direction.

PLG Consultants

20th June 2024

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