Has the First Quarter of 2024 Been Mortgage Friendly? An Analysis for Homebuyers in the UK

If you are among those looking forward to owning a property, how easy or hard has it been during these first 3 months of 2024? The past few months have seen fluctuating property rates. Economic factors have created uncertainty and raised questions about affordability. Let's take a look at key trends that possibly shaped the mortgage landscape in Q1 of 2024 and see what might be coming forth for prospective homebuyers.

  • The rise or fall of interest rates

One of the biggest concerns for a prospective homebuyer is the potential rise in interest rates. The Bank of England stabilised interest rates towards the latter part of last year (2023). However, this year speculation about future hikes caused some lenders to inch their interest rates upwards. This may have created a sense of urgency for some prospective buyers, prompting them to lock in rates before they climb further.

Trying to predict if interest rates will stay at the current rate or go up, is tricky. However, as of now interest rates haven't seen a hike and remain stable at 5.25%. Considering this background that sees a stable bank rate during the first quarter of 2024, it is likely these interest rates will prevail till the end of this year. And if you are among those looking to invest in a property, it is evident that lenders can offer you competitive rates.

  • The Housing market’s upward trend

The housing market in the UK has seen a positive trajectory during the first part of Q1. The demand for housing, although still below the pre pandemic period, has been on the increase. This is good news for sellers, and if you are thinking of investing in a property, this might be just the right time to do it. According to cebr.com, they estimate housing prices in the UK may fall to an average of 1.9% in 2024. And this could directly relate to more transactional movement in the mortgaging markets making it essentially a ‘buyers market’. But don’t jump right in, you may have to carefully consider the pros and cons before making your final decision on a property purchase however enticing it may seem. Speaking to an expert mortgage adviser can help you make informed decisions.

  • Affordability Concerns Rise

The combination of falling property prices and potential interest rate hikes has raised mixed concerns about affordability. This could relate to a decline in buyer confidence in Q1, suggesting that potential buyers are apprehensive when it comes to investing in the property market. Being unable to accurately forecast due to the chances of increased interest rates, even when property pricing is at a low, can be particularly worrisome for first-time homebuyers. After all, they may have saved up money or are in the process of saving up with the intention of embarking on a mortgage to purchase a property. Even with the Bank of England stabilising interest rates, first time buyers might have to gauge their investment options before finalising a deal.

  • Looking for options and better deals

Despite some challenges in Q1, housing rates coming down are positive signs for homebuyers. Here are a few factors that put perspective into options that you might be looking at:

Government Programs: Government-backed programs offer loans and opportunities for qualified buyers to secure financing with lower down payments with favourable terms. These programs can be particularly helpful for first-time homebuyers.

Regional Variations: The housing market does stay stagnant. Affordability varies significantly across regions. While some areas are experiencing rapid price increases, others remain more buyer-friendly. Exploring different locations could open up more possibilities for budget-conscious buyers.

Financial Stability: Ensure you have a secure job that will offer you employment for an extended period of time. A permanent job gives you a better chance at getting your mortgage approved. In any instance, having a permanent job will give you the peace of mind that you are able to pay off your monthly instalments before committing to a mortgage.

Market Conditions: Research the specific market you're interested in. Analyse trends, inventory levels, and price forecasts before making decisions.


The beginning of this year has been a proving ground for many, particularly prospective property owners. Q1 has provided us with insight as to how the rest of the year will progress. And by the looks of it, the economy being stable, interest rates being stable, and lower pricing for property purchasing, the UK housing market does look promising.

The first quarter of 2024 presented both challenges and opportunities for homebuyers. While housing prices and potential interest rate hikes can be daunting,  government programs, regional variations, and strategic planning can still make homeownership a possibility for many.

If you are looking to invest in a property in the UK, it might be a good time to do so. Speak to a professional and make informed decisions before embarking on a mortgage.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

* Approved by the Openwork Partnership on 26/03/2024