For Karen Noye (pictured right), mortgage expert at wealth management business Quilter, it was unsurprising that people were less inclined to embark on huge life decisions like buying a house, given that mortgage rates remain volatile and the economic outlook still unpredictable.

“However, there does seem to be a silver lining for the property market and better times might be ahead,” she said. “Property transaction statistics, produced by HMRC, tell a slightly rosier picture. Although the housing market is certainly far from out of the woods, a drop in interest rates and clearer glide path for rates in the future will help buyers gain that certainty needed to make the leap and buy a new property.

“Despite significant affordability pressures, many homeowners and buyers are coming to terms with the fact that rates are unlikely to return to the ultra-low level that we have become accustomed to before and during the pandemic.

“The next government could help push this along by reforming the stamp duty landscape. This area of tax is not particularly lucrative for the government and serves to glue up the market with older homeowners loathed to downsize, creating a bottleneck throughout the whole chain. This could therefore become a battleground policy in the lead up to the election.”

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