What’s going to happen to the UK housing market in 2024?

Russell Quirk shares his thoughts

There are two types of property folk in this world, optimists and pessimists. In fact there’s also a third – the correct.

In 2023, I fell into the first and the third categories in that whilst a number of people pretending to be property experts predicted the death of the UK housing market, I said that it would be fine. And I was right.

Looking back on the forecasts of some punters we can see clearly now that the likes of the Bank of England, Capital Economics, the Office of Budget Responsibility, Savills, Knight Frank and more were wrong to jump on the laziest bandwagon of them all – to talk down the UK housing market.

Most amusingly, some extremist commentators told us that property prices would shatter into a million pieces and would drop ‘by 35% or more’. Incredibly, one or two are still saying the same thing because they hope, despite facing utter professional humiliation, that their broken clock will eventually be right.

They’ve made proper Charlies of themselves, haven’t they?

Now, I know a thing or two about PR and it seems to me that some of these chancers thought they’d grab a few column inches by declaring housing Armageddon because it would get them in the Daily Mail and on GB News. After all, it can’t just be me there ALL the time, can it?

But the problem with silly projections is that they have a shelf life. In other words when you repeatedly say that stupid things are going to happen you lose all credibility when they don’t. No one will ever take you seriously again and that’s it – game over for your career kudos.

In the case of Savills and Knight Frank, they go some way to solving the problem of PR headlines not coming true, by regularly revising their forecasts as the facts move against them. For instance, stating a likely 10% fall in prices soon turns into a press release that transforms the 10% fall to a ‘revision’ a few months later which as the clock ticks down to year-end, it enables them to be a bit more right than they were going to be otherwise.

But some pundits maintain their stance regardless of lucid facts. A lot like the Heaven’s Gate cult that continually prophecised Doomsday and spent many years gazing up at the stars in hope, believing that UFOs were on their way to rescue them. The UFOs never came but notoriety certainly did – all for the wrong reasons.

At the risk of incurring the wrath of the PIE comments section, I am going to provide you with some predictions for next year and none of them involve the demise of UK house prices. Or flying saucers.

Let’s see how many you agree with…

+ Average house prices will rise by around 2% to 3% (the Nationwide or Halifax index, take your pick)

+ New housebuilding completions will be at one of the lowest levels in decades – circa 160,000 completions

+ We will not enter recession in 2024

+ Rishi Sunak will not be prime minister by the time of the 2024 general election (Oct/Nov). Keep an eye on Nigel Farage.

+ OnTheMarket will rebrand and then grow website traffic and agent market share substantially. But the current management team will exit

+ Something ‘big’ will happen in the self-employed estate agency sector

+ Putting the ‘free’ into ‘freefall’, Purplebricks will increase losses by another £20m (see also ‘broken clocks’ above).

+ The London estate/letting agency M&A market will explode with activity

And just for fun:

+ Gary Lineker will no longer front Match of the Day

+ Harry and Meghan will split

Of course, I’ll be taking bets as usual with the winnings going to my usual charity.

Merry Christmas everyone and get ready for a prosperous New Year.


Russell Quirk is chief optimist officer and crystal ball gazer at ProperPR, the property public relations agency 



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  1. Rob Hailstone

    But will Russell dip his toe in the conveyancing pool as hinted at in a recent podcast (Conveyancing Matters)?

  2. Shaun Adams

    I look forward to Charlie Wright/Lamdin AKA the voice of doom’s comments. Does anyone know why Charlie changed his name?

    1. Steve_Smithson

      I have been wondering the same thing – perhaps he can clear it up?

      1. ChristianW

        Me too. What’s that all about? Did he think no one would notice?

    2. Robert_May

      Good job Peebee doesn’t post here these days, he’d tell you!

      1. Charlie Lamdin

        PeeBee is an anonymous coward.

        1. Robert_May

          In March 2018 you pinned a target to your own forehead with unjustified, negative commentary about an industry [that didn’t flock to support your then latest venture, CIELA] as being at war with itself.

          It wasn’t then and still isn’t; you use a very wide broom to tar everyone in the industry as rogues and charlatans who overvalue property to win instructions. That’s a consumer schmooze that works against you when ever you’re trying to be the agent’s friend.

          People like Moolmarkie, PhillipGraham70 and then Peebee were simply returning fire at someone sniping at them.
          J1 summed it up at the time “Cilla failed because it’s founder was so negative about others – calling the Bruce bothers all sorts of unpleasant things in public does not help your cause at it undermines your credibility as a person looking to improve standards – lead from the top not from the gutter”

          If you want to be anti agent carry on, if you want to be accepted by the industry its probably best not to be throwing rocks at them all the time

    3. RussellQ

      To hide from his 2020 forecasts that Martians would invade the planet by the end of that year?

    4. Charlie Lamdin

      Wright was my stepfather’s name. We didn’t get along. When I had children I wanted them to have my mother’s family name Lamdin, not my stepfathers. Made the change publicly with both names alongside each other on LinkedIn for several years. Not sure why any of you care, but very flattered that you’re gossiping about me! Merry Christmas all.

      1. Shaun Adams

        That makes complete sense Charlie, Happy Christmas

  3. Simon Bradbury

    Very brave Mr Q – as usual!
    I will respectfully disagree with at least 2 predictions…
    I can’t see OTM rebranding or their entire current management team exiting.
    Harry and Meghan will not split this year – that won’t happen until 2025!

    But what do I know?

    1. RussellQ

      Simon, on OTM .., not a new name. A brand refresh

      1. Shaun Adams

        I’ve been told CoStar have plans on their US portal to open it up to private sellers…


    Can you let us all know the new year lottery numbers please RQ

    We can all do with a few extra quid this year

  5. biffabear

    The market where I am has dropped a lot. Property has become very difficult to sell. But I also predict that prices will stop dropping and concur we might see mild increases. I am noticing diminishing stock levels. On valuations, we are back at the stage where, when people realise what today’s valuation is, meaning lower than a year ago, they just decide to stay where they are.

    I have noticed this a lot over the years, unless you are desperate to sell, you just wouldn’t bother selling for knockdown prices. Thus the market does not collapse. With interest rates, looking like they have peaked, I cannot see many being desperate to sell. I’ve no idea what will happen to transaction volumes though. Often after a lull the market has a surge of activity, like opening a Champagne bottle, but I am not sure for 2024.

    For the sake of all agents, I hope that Russell is right about OTM. Many independents are now paying more for RM than they are for their rent.

    “Something ‘big’ will happen in the self-employed estate agency sector”. I am ‘miffed’ to know what this could be though?

  6. Shaun Adams

    “ Something ‘big’ will happen in the self-employed estate agency sector”

    Maybe soon, like other industries anyone self-employed working under an umbrella brand will need to be treated as PAYE, ie sick pay, hol pay and PAYE tax.

    1. biffabear

      That’s a potential killer.

  7. NotAdoctor32

    Surely either all of the optimist are correct, or all of the pessimists are correct. It isn’t 3 types of people.

    Also is this a dig at yourself or have you lost all sense of irony? – “But the problem with silly projections is that they have a shelf life. In other words when you repeatedly say that stupid things are going to happen you lose all credibility when they don’t. No one will ever take you seriously again and that’s it – game over for your career kudos.”

  8. AgentV

    Here is my prediction for the new year. The Bank of England have overdone it on interest rate rises and we will come very close to recession (or even dip into it slightly) until interest rates are cut quicker and more vigorously than expected to re stimulate growth. This will steady the market and pent up moving demand will improve activity.
    Although the BofE are independent it is an election year!


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