Bank of England holds base rate at 5.25%

15th December 2023

“The Bank’s decision to keep base interest rates steady today comes as no surprise, as they continue supporting the economy through this period of difficulty that is starting to show green shoots of recovery. However, for the property sector, we expect this decision to maintain the status quo, keeping property prices stable in the short term, but still leaving people feeling tangibly no better off.

“Though progress has been made to fight the ongoing inflationary pressures, the very high cost of borrowing remains a barrier for homebuyers and real estate investors alike. This, coupled with affordability issues as prices remain high, especially for first-time buyers, means we are unlikely to see growth in either market. Despite this, steady rates and some stability can provide a sense of reliability in uncertain times. Compared to the consistent increases we have seen previously, this may be settling for some.

“Homeowners and investors will need to continue to be savvy with their choices, examining where and what asset classes are outperforming the market, being more strategic than ever to push against these economic headwinds. One surefire way to improve the market in these challenging times is to improve the efficiency of the transaction process. Delays or incorrect data can be a headache for those who are trying to close deals for example, before a mortgage offer expires. The aim of the game now is to stop deals falling out of bed before too many external factors take hold. Technology is a ready and waiting solution. It will only be when we significantly digitalise parts of the system and connects these processes that will start to bear fruit. Quicker and more accurate transactions will give our current slow-moving market a boost, whilst also saving both individuals and businesses time and money.”

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