Navigating today’s ‘two-speed’ housing market

Navigating today’s ‘two-speed’ housing market

After a better-than-expected start to the year, the property market appears to be settling into a broadly stable pace, except with one clear distinguishing feature.

That is, that activity seems to be operating at 'two speeds.'

The reason for this phenomenon owes to the distinct variations in pricing strategy being adopted by new sellers coming to market. Specifically, there are those who are pricing their properties right from the offset, and who are subsequently proving able to secure a buyer quickly, and without the need for a reduction.

By contrast, there are just as many sellers for whom the opposite is true, and where an over-ambitious asking price has thwarted the impact of that all-important launch period, not to mention the chances of a timely and efficient onward move.

This case of the two extremes has, if nothing else, helped to underscore the importance of pricing strategy in today’s complex and unique market.

What is happening to house prices?

New seller asking prices HAVE seen an increase (for the first time since July 23), and the balance between sellers and buyers is arguably the best it has been for 3 years.

However, with more properties available for sale (almost a fifth more than a year ago), the luxury of choice has also returned. This has negated at least some of the inflationary impact on prices, by making buyers much more discerning in their approach to finding the perfect property.

Equally, many of today’s home-movers are still constrained somewhat by the present-day mortgage rates, which although definitely more stable, still remain broadly elevated.


The number of sales being agreed has always been an accurate indicator of the health of the market, and given that for the first six weeks of 2024, this figure was 16% higher than the same period last year, there is clearly every reason to be optimistic.

In terms of whether this trend will likely continue its momentum, the verdict is ‘quite possibly.

That said, sellers are advised 'not to get carried away.'

As it stands, until the path of interest rates becomes clearer, lenders are mostly holding back on implementing any further rate cuts, meaning the ‘best mortgage rates’ have probably reached a plateau… for now. The base rate will most likely be cut at some point later this year, but there is much uncertainty as to when this might be.

Equally, industry experts are not ruling out the possibility of a curveball or two in the shape of the Government’s spring budget, taking place on 6 March.

With some policy changes in the pipeline which could affect home-movers, the best approach for home-movers now seems to be one of cautious positivity.

Most importantly, if you are considering putting your property on the market, it pays to keep in mind that it will need to be attractively priced from the offset - something that will inevitably require the insight and guidance of a reputable local estate agent.

Through their knowledge of both the regional market, and the likely demand for the specific property type in question, it is possible to reduce the margin for error in this most crucial stage of the marketing process, and boost the chances of a positive and timely selling experience.

For more information on the Maidenhead property market, please call Braxton on 01628 674234 or email