The Twelve Days of Christmas

What does 2024 hold for the property market?

To celebrate the twelve days of Christmas we have spoken with our highly experienced team of regional directors and collated some of their best advice, insights into, and predictions for the UK property market.

If you’d like more information, or to discuss any other aspect of the vagaries of the market, we’d love to hear from you. You can  contact us here , and we’ll put you in touch with the best regional director for you to speak to.

Wishing you a very happy Christmas.

Transaction Niggles – The Season of Goodwill:

James Law says, ‘In these days of crunched credit, we’ve been seeing an increase in ‘gazundering’, ‘chiselling’ and ‘renegotiating’. Call it what you like, any unreasonable and last-minute strategies to get a property, or some of its contents, for less than has been agreed, leads to loss of goodwill and the waves of bad karma will continue through the finalisation of the transaction and way beyond. The fallout can be huge, especially if the vendors stay local. Purchasers should go into the new year with a resolution to treat vendors as they would like to be treated themselves.”

The ABC of EPCs:

George Barkes says, “Nobody used to pay any attention at all to EPCs, but today’s buyers are all over them. A year of high oil prices has taken its toll; buyers are concerned about insulation and running costs and they’re concerned about resale values and difficulties.

“We will see an increase in vendors getting an EPC done as soon as they think about selling to give them a chance to raise the rating to a better level. We will start to see buyers getting very twitchy about an EPC rating that’s lower than a C. Retro-fitting property will become more widespread. As the industry evolves, prices for adaptations will inevitably start to fall, and better environmental solutions will be developed.”

London Specific:

Sara Ransom says, “Londoners will be largely unconcerned about how far property is from a tube station. The premiums associated with those that are within a ten-minute walk will become historical. Times change, working from home is routine, office hours are flexible, and cycling and walking is mainstream.

“Buyers in ’24 will want turnkey properties that have good separate work spaces, even if that’s a wide corridor, a tiny box room or space in the garden for a studio. Properties that need work will struggle to find buyers as Londoners are disinclined to take on a project as living in a home while work is going on is almost impossible if the owners are working from home.”

Schools More Important Than Ever:

Craig Fuller says, “For many buyers, particularly those returning from overseas, schools will be at the top of their wish list and will often be the main focus of their search. Premiums will rise for properties close to good state schools. Buyers want a good local primary school and an excellent state secondary school within 25 minutes of their new home. Already this year we have seen properties that meet these criteria selling quickly, often within a couple of weeks of going to market.”

Energy Efficiency and Listed Properties:

Clare Coode of Stacks Property Search says, “Buyers will continue to tread carefully when buying Listed properties. It’s very easy for repairs to listed properties to be two or even three times more expensive than in a non-Listed house. Living in an old Listed property is very different to living in a modern property. Historically, occupants piled on the clothing rather than turning up the thermostat.”

Price Changes:

Charlie Rearden says, “As vendors realise their properties are overpriced, we expect to see more reductions on the houses that are sticking   Dropping the price by small increments will mean you’re chasing the market down. It’s better to make a significant reduction, certainly over 10%, to make sure it’s noticed and importantly that it falls into fresh search categories.”

Bill Spreckley says, “There’s an inclination to change agent if a property isn’t selling, but that’s not necessarily going to help if the price is wrong. If an agent has marketed the property properly with good photographs on the right portals and relevant advertising and PR, changing agent is simply going to waste time.”

The Good Life:

Ed Jephson says, “A vegetable patch is right up there on the list of must-haves for my clients relocating to the countryside, and demand will inevitably continue to grow in ‘24. Anything from a professional arrangement to a couple of raised beds and a greenhouse – as long as there’s enough space to grow some tomatoes, radishes and salad leaves. It’s less about huge cost savings, more about lifestyle, and it certainly adds to buyers’ wellbeing.”

‘My Wife Next Door’

Anto Clay says, “In these days of increasingly complicated family arrangements, two properties next door to each other can be so much more useful than one larger one. We are seeing a growing trend for the concept of living ‘separately together’, retaining their independence whilst sharing elements of their day to day lives. Knocking through from one house to the other allows for living together without living on top of each other. Having said that, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee success, think Tim Burton and Helena Bonham-Carter.

“It can also work really well for separated couples who share children. The arrangement can be fantastic, helping with child care, and making splits easier for children to cope with whilst allowing for extended family living. It is of course important for everyone to be clear about the boundaries. Just because there’s an inter-connecting door, there shouldn’t necessarily be the assumption that it can always be used!”

Single Storey Style:

Louise Ridings says, “Demand for single storey properties will go up, up, up, and so will prices. In many areas, bungalows already demand a significant price premium, but as supply declines, this premium will continue to grow. More and more bungalows are being extended vertically, or knocked down and replaced with two storey houses. “As our population ages, high end bungalows are the asset class of the future. The days of getting a cheap bungalow because it isn’t a great beauty are sadly long gone.”

Nick Wooldridge says, “Bungalows suit contemporary design trends for open plan, lateral space with plenty of opportunity to create access to outside living areas. Extending vertically doesn’t necessarily make most sense. And improvements can often be made if they’re lacking in the aesthetics department. As our population ages, high end bungalows are the asset class of the future.”

Eco-Efficient Homes:

Rachel Johnston says, ““The younger generations are consciously active in looking to future proof the planet and their lives and demand will increase for well insulated properties with key environmental features. Developers need to catch up with demand; while there are some niche developers that are doing everything right, most developers are doing the minimum that is required of them by law. Anybody buying a new property should check developers claims carefully.”

Fit For Purpose:

Amanda Ake says, “Ten years ago, if you walked into a dedicated gym or fitness room in a property for sale, the chances are it would have accumulated boxes and discarded piece of furniture, and the running machine would be gathering dust. How times have changed. A decade on, fitness is a huge part of our culture, and demand will continue to increase for easy access to everything from great walking and cycling routes, through gyms and swimming pools. For those with deep pockets, a dedicated space either in or adjacent to the property is a prerequisite, whether it already exists, or where it can be repurposed to suit their particular requirement.”

Top Hot Spots For ’24:

Nick Cunningham says, “Exmouth in Devon is appealing to a broad range of buyers, and property is significantly cheaper than other popular higher profile locations nearby such as Budleigh Salterton, Lympstone and Sidmouth. It is also far more accessible by road than Dawlish, Teignmouth and Torquay located on the Western side of the Exe estuary.”

Gillie Pearce says, “The market for properties on the Suffolk coast around Aldeburgh, Southwold and Walberswick is robust, supply is short and competition is high. But head a little north into the Waveney Valley and prices are significantly lower. The area is known for its outstanding natural beauty and it’s within easy reach of both Norfolk and Suffolk coasts.”

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive updates about the world of property, straight to your inbox.

* indicates required