Demand-supply imbalance puts pressure on house prices

House prices rise

Knight Frank believes that it is now a good time to be a homebuyer, with election uncertainty contributing towards a recent drop in house prices

The performance of the UK housing market this year will be shaped by Rishi Sunak’s decision to call a general election on 22 May, according to Knight Frank.

The estate agency believes that it is now a good time to be a homebuyer, with election uncertainty contributing towards a recent drop in house prices.

Tom Bill, head of UK residential research for Knight Frank, said: Amid the political fanfare of the last three weeks, the fact financial markets have pushed out their rate cut hopes to November has slipped under the radar.

It is largely thanks to the stubbornly-high services inflation number of 6% released on 22 May, although the picture has since become hazier. Last week, strong UK private sector wage growth won’t have helped the case for an early cut but declining US inflation will, he added.

He said: Overall, mortgage rates are unlikely to drop meaningfully any time soon and that, together with a degree of political uncertainty, is keeping demand in check. Ironically, it has rarely been a better time to be a buyer in recent years.

Bill refers to Knight Frank data that shows there were 5.9 new prospective buyers for every sales instruction in the UK in May.

Buyers have only faced less competition once during the last five years, two months after the mini-Budget in December 2022, he said.

He added: As the Nationwide and Halifax indices have demonstrated in recent months, higher supply and lower demand is putting downwards pressure on prices. It is something that sellers should bear in mind, together with the reality that a wave of owners is rolling off sub-2% mortgages.

He said: Whatever month it happens in, buyers can certainly expect stiffer competition after the summer.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by our writers are their own and do not represent the views of Getting Money Wise. The information provided on Getting Money Wise is intended for informational purposes only. Getting Money Wise is not liable for any financial losses incurred. Conduct your own research by contacting financial experts before making any investment decisions.

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