It is undeniable that the last 12 months have been incredibly difficult for families and businesses across the UK. From soaring energy food prices brought by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, to the aftereffects of the UK’s departure from the European Union, not to mention former Prime Minister Liz Truss’ disastrous mini-budget, many recent events have spawned significant volatility in the national economy.
This instability has, in turn, caused inflation to shoot up considerably, and it currently stands at approximately 10%. As such, on Thursday 2nd February, the Bank of England announced that it was raising its interest rate by 0.5 percentage points to reach 4%, explaining that this was the best solution for bringing inflation back under control.
While the increase will likely be welcomed by savers, who will experience a healthy boost to their bank balance as a result, it means others will face higher borrowing costs, making an already challenging financial situation even harder for many people.
With economists forecasting that rates will increase further in 2023 – with a potential rise set to be made on 23rd March – it is understandable why many are concerned about the potential impact that high-interest rates will have on the UK’s property market. So far, however, the market has proven itself to be far more buoyant than many had expected it to be.
Confidence and competition
When the BOE was forced to hike interest rates to 3.5% in the latter stages of 2022, this naturally fed through to mortgage rates as well, making it considerably harder for first-time buyers to secure the funds needed to purchase a home. While the situation was already gloomy for borrowers at this point, Liz Truss’ now infamous mini-budget made things even worse, ramping the level of volatility up to