Despite some seemingly ominous predictions in the media, it’s fair to say that the UK’s housing market has actually held up pretty well during 2023. It certainly hasn’t crashed as some said it might. And while house price indices from some lenders including Halifax and Nationwide make for potentially worrying reading, the reality is that this data is skewed towards borrowers, whose finances have been hit these year by increased interest rates.

Other figures, for example from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) House Price Index (HPI), which tracks all sales which have been agreed, paint a rather different, more robust picture. Going by this measure, house prices only dipped by 0.1% in the year to September.

In our own area, any drops in price follow a huge boom in the market, with prices rising as people sought new homes near rural and coastal areas having spent weeks indoors during the pandemic. In Hastings, for example, average prices soared from £220,000 in March 2020 to £299,000 by the start of this year, meaning a 27% rise in under three years.

Meanwhile, according to the Sussex Live website, Eastbourne is another area of the county where average prices have been buoyant, lifting from an average of £304,415 last year to £308,900 in 2023 – i.e. a rise of 1.45%. In Hastings, that figure was 0.92%, as average prices went up from £296,511 to £299,260.

And one major online property portal reported that properties in East Sussex had an overall average price of £445,455 over the last year, very similar to 2022 levels. In particular, it added that sales of flats were particularly brisk.

On the rental side, nationally demand across the sector remains high, with rents up nearly 10% (9.7%) compared with a year ago. Demand remains a third above the five-year average, while another property portal says it expects to increase by 5% in 2024.

In East Sussex, the median rent per property paid by tenants across 4,440 homes in the year to March was £900. It was up by 5.9 per cent from £850 the year before, according to the website of the Argus.

Oakfield says

At Oakfield Estate Agents, we know that rising rates and prices generally have made life challenging for many. But, across all our areas, we’ve been very busy and seen brisk sales and lettings throughout 2023. So we’re very confident that, if you have a property to let out or sell in 2024, we can secure you a buyer or tenants at the best possible price.

Equally, the Bank of England held base interest rates at 5.25% this month, the third time in a row it has been kept unchanged, and there are predictions that rates could start falling from as early as next year. (Although, of course no one has a crystal ball.)

We’ve written before about how you can still secure a speedy letting if the price is right. At the same time, we’ve seen a steady flow of property sales across our towns of Eastbourne, Bexhill and Hastings. And we’re not expecting this to lose momentum anytime soon, and so we firmly believe there’s every reason to feel confident about the local property market as we move into 2024.

Remember, we’re the leading estate and lettings agent in our area, offering an extensive property management portfolio encompassing services including block management. Our work has earned us hundreds of positive Google reviews. And you could join their number.

So if it’s your New Year’s resolution to move, or to let out a property in East Sussex in 2024, we stand ready to help. Just get in touch with a member of the friendly, professional team and we’ll take it from there. Find our contact info here.