Two-thirds of property professionals wishing for an interest rate decrease in 2023

A webinar poll undertaken by Countrywide Surveying Services (CSS), one of the leading suppliers of valuation panel management services, reflecting on 2022 and looking forward to 2023 outlined that almost two-thirds of property professionals wished for interest rates to decrease in 2023.

When asked what one wish they had for the UK property market in 2023, 60% of respondents opted for decreasing interest rates. Interestingly, 17% wished for the cladding dispute to be resolved while 13% coveted a deposit solution for first-time buyers. The launch of an alternative to Help to Buy commanded 5% of responses, whilst 3% demanded a delay in EPC regulation and 2% sought increased funding for lending.

These responses emerged at Countrywide Surveying Services’ final webinar of 2022 which not only recapped another extraordinary year, but also looked forward to all things relating to residential property in 2023. It also summarised some of the topics covered over the course of the year including buy-to-let, down valuations, EPCs and sustainability in the UK property sector.

Over 300 people actively engaged with the session, with the audience consisting of lenders, brokers, surveyors and other property professionals. The panel included Graham Sellar, Head of Business Development - Mortgages, Santander UK, Tim Bannister, Director of Property Science Innovation, Rightmove plc and David Fell, Senior Analyst, Hamptons International.

It was hosted by Matthew Cumber, Managing Director at Countrywide Surveying Services who was joined by John Baguley, Director of Technical, Risk and Compliance at Countrywide Surveying Services.

A further poll, taken during the webinar reflecting on 2022, outlined that half the audience (51%) thought existing homeowners with no mortgage had it best in 2022. This was followed by 22% who suggested that existing homeowners who had held a mortgage for over 10 years and/or with less than 15 years to go had it best in 2022. 8% pointed to existing homeowners who’d only held a mortgage for 10 years of less. The same number (8%) suggested nobody had it best with 6% implying that first-time buyers had it best with 5% stating property investors/landlords.

Looking forward again to 2023, 60% of respondents thought that existing homeowners without a mortgage will have it best in 2023. 13% predicted that nobody would have it best, 10% hinted at existing homeowners who had held a mortgage for over 10 years and/or with less than 15 years to go whilst 9% said FTBs. 6% said property investors/landlords and only 2% thought that existing homeowners who’d only held a mortgage for 10 years of less would have it best in 2023.

Matthew Cumber, Managing Director at Countrywide Surveying Services, commented:

“2022 has certainly been a rollercoaster year for the housing and mortgage markets. However, it’s encouraging that confidence levels remain healthy and its little surprise to see interest rate reductions topping property professionals wish lists for 2023 as this would help activity levels remain strong and demand high over the course of year.

“There is a good chance that the long-running cladding issue could be resolved in the new year, and this will release ‘cladding prisoners’ who have inadvertently suffered through no fault of their own. The culmination of this long-running saga will also provide a further stimulus to the housing market by allowing these homeowners to upsize and create more affordable opportunities for first-time buyers where possible. A series of events which has to be a positive shift for all concerned.”