OBR: House Prices to Fall by 9% by 2024

New figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility add weight to predictions of a serious slow down in the UK housing market

Ollie Smith 17 November, 2022 | 3:07PM
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Jeremy Hunt

House prices could fall by as much as 9% by 2024, according to fresh modelling from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) published alongside the Autumn Statement today.

In a separate document accompanying the Treasury's fiscal statement this afternoon, the OBR outlined its predictions for the UK economy. 

"House prices are forecast to fall by 9.0 per cent between the fourth quarter of 2022 and the third quarter of 2024, largely driven by significantly higher mortgage rates as well as the wider economic downturn," the organisation said.

"[According to our forecasts] average interest rates on the stock of outstanding mortgages peak at 5% in the second half of 2024, the highest since 2008 and 1.8 percentage points above the peak in our March forecast, before falling back slightly to 4.6% by the forecast horizon.

"Due to the relatively large share of fixed-rate mortgages in the total (around 83% in the second quarter of 2022 versus 51% in 2007), higher rates on new mortgages take time to feed through to higher average mortgage rates on the stock of debt."

The OBR now forecasts that economic recovery will result in a slightly accellerated rate of price growth, though it said there was "significant uncertainty" surrounding its modelling.

"As the economy recovers, house prices rise slightly faster than nominal incomes from 2025 (at around 2.6% a year) and the house-price-to-earnings ratio settles at around 7.0, somewhat lower than the ratio of 7.3 in our March forecast," it said.

"There is significant uncertainty over this forecast given the sensitivity of house prices to mortgage rates and the recent volatility in the bond yields that drive pricing in the mortgage market."

According to the latest figures from Halifax, the average price of a house in the UK is £292,599. If house prices continued to grow at the rate they grew in October, the same average property would be worth £316,884 in September 2022.

House prices hit a five-month low in October, Halifax said, with growth slowing 8.3% on an annual basis in October. 

Nationwide, meanwhile, reports a 7.2% growth rate last month, down from 9.5% in September. Robert Gardner, the building society’s chief economist, has described this as "sharp slowdown" with the potential for further falls in the coming months.

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Ollie Smith

Ollie Smith  is editor of Morningstar UK

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