The UK Property Market in 2024:

A Robust Start with Implications for Maidstone

As an experienced estate and letting agent based in Maidstone, I have been closely monitoring the trends in the UK property market. As of January 11th, 2024, the market has shown a solid start, a trend worth exploring, especially in how it might mirror or differ from the local market in Maidstone.

In the first 11 days of 2024, the UK property market recorded 22,402 homes sold subject to contract (stc). This figure represents a significant increase compared to the first 11 days in 2023, where only 15,735 properties were sold stc.

This is an impressive 42.37% increase in the number of UK home sales year-to-date!

For those of you who like your property stats, the average price of the property sold stc in the first 11 days of 2023 was £337,678 with an average of £321/sq.ft. In 2024, the average sale agreed price was almost identical at £337,972, yet the average pound per square foot was slightly higher at £326/sq.ft.

Such a surge in the property market demands a deeper analysis to understand the underlying factors and what they might mean for local markets, such as Maidstone.

Key Drivers of the UK Property Market Surge

Lowering Mortgage Rates: One of the primary catalysts for the increased activity in the property market is the reduction in mortgage rates. This development has made purchasing property affordable for a more significant population segment, boosting home sales.

Rising Wages: The rise in average wages has also played a critical role. With more disposable income, individuals are more inclined to invest in property, which is a secure and lucrative asset.

Low Unemployment Rates: The strong job market and low unemployment rates have instilled confidence in people, encouraging them to make significant life decisions such as buying a home.

Additional Factors: There are other factors at play as well, including demographic shifts, changes in housing preferences post-pandemic, and government policies that may have incentivised property purchases.

Maidstone’s Property Market: A Comparative Analysis

When we turn our attention to Maidstone, it's important to recognise that local markets can behave differently from national trends. (Maidstone being ME14-ME18).

As of the same period in 2024, Maidstone's property market has shown 65 sales agreed (sold stc), and in comparison, to the exact year-to-date figure of 2023, which was 36,we can draw some preliminary conclusions.

This is an 80.6% increase in Maidstone home sales year-to-date

So, reasonably like the national picture (albeit higher), it is still very much early doors so things could change.

Before diving deeper into this, I wanted to see if the types of properties selling in the first two weeks of the year in the Maidstone area in 2024 differed from those in 2023.

The average price of the property that was agreed on a sale (i.e. sold stc) in the first 11 days of 2023 in Maidstone was £383,750 with an average of £366/sq.ft.

In 2024, the average sale agreed price was £370,231, yet the average pound per square foot was slightly higher at £380/sq.ft.

Whilst the average price and the £/sq.ft. are going indifferent directions between 2023 and 2024, this does not concern me. The national picture, whilst only looking at the first 11 days of 2024, is dealing with thousands and thousands of sales.

However, because we are just looking at Maidstone, the number of sales is going to be much smaller, and therefore because it’s also over such a short period of time, we are going to see some unusual spikes in the numbers.

The Maidstone property market always follows the regional and national trends, and our local stats will settle down as time and more sales pass by in the coming months.

Local Factors Influencing Maidstone’s Market

The performance of Maidstone’s property market could be influenced by local economic conditions, the specific demographic profile of the area, and even regional policy decisions.

For instance, developments in local employment opportunities, infrastructure projects, or changes in the local landscape compared to other parts of the UK could significantly affect market dynamics. Do share your thoughts on that and reply with a comment.

Future Outlook and Advice for Homeowners and Landlords in Maidstone

Looking ahead, the property market in 2024 is on a promising trajectory. However, understanding the nuances of the local market is crucial for homeowners and landlords in Maidstone. It's not just about national trends but how they interact with local and regional factors.

As a professional, I encourage Maidstone property owners and prospective buyers to seek tailored advice. Understanding the current market position of your property and how to navigate the 2024 market landscape can be pivotal in making informed decisions.

While the UK property market has seen a robust start in 2024, it's essential to fully delve into local market conditions to grasp the opportunities and challenges. For those in Maidstone, I am here to provide expert insights and guidance tailored to our unique market conditions. Whether you are a homeowner looking to sell or a landlord seeking to expand or liquidate your portfolio, understanding the specifics of Maidstone's property market is critical to making strategic decisions.

Remember, the Maidstone property market is dynamic, and what applies on a national level might not mirror precisely at the local level. As we move through 2024, staying informed and adapting to the changing market will be crucial for success in any property transaction.

To understand your position in the Maidstone property market, or if you have any queries about potential property investments, please feel free to contact me. My expertise and local market knowledge of Maidstone are at your disposal to help you navigate these exciting times in our local property market.

Please share your thoughts on any aspect of this with a comment.

Thank you for reading.

Matthew Pattenden & Lee Churchyard

Knight Edmonds