Mortgage rates continue to fall, the best cities for investment returns have been revealed, and the UK's 10 happiest places to live have been announced. Plus, we wrap up 2023 Spotify-style! Read on to find out more.
Two-year Mortgage Rates Fall Below 6%
Mortgage rates are continuing to head in the right direction for buyers and homeowners whose deals are due for renewal, with average two-year fixed deals falling below 6%.
The drop in rates follows confirmation from the Bank of England that the base interest rate is being held at 5.25% - the second straight freeze - and competition between the UK's major lenders has intensified as they battle to keep existing customers and attract the small pool of new homeowners who are coming into the market.
2023 in Review
With 2023 behind us, it's the perfect time to take a look back at the year that was. Thanks to the statisticians at Zoopla, we can now share some of the key stats from the past 12 months:
One million homes were sold, and house prices fell 1.2% on average across the UK. Scotland and Northern Ireland were the only regions in the UK where prices have risen over the past 12 months.
The most popular types of homes to be sold were terraced houses, with 140,000 changing hands in 2023, followed closely by semi-detached houses. 130,000 of these were sold over the past year. 148 farms and 57 houseboats were sold too.
The Bank of England raised the base interest rate five times across the year. When we saw in 2023, the interest rate was 3.5%, and as we close the year out, it sits at 5.25%.
This led to a huge knock-on effect on mortgage rates, which peaked at an average of 6.44% for a two-year fixed rate in July and 6.37% for a five-year fixed rate in early August. Both are now below 6%, and it's hoped they've seen their peak.
As for standard variable rate mortgages, these went from an average of 6.61% at the start of the year to a whopping 8.74% at the end of 2023.
Applegate Properties are delighted to bring you our monthly property market updates. If you are thinking of buying or selling a property, please get in touch with us on 01484 682999 or request a valuation on our website for an instant figure.