Greetings from a frosty Sheffield! Are we all ready for 2024?…
As we get ready to say goodbye to 2023, the job market is brimming with exciting possibilities, so this month’s blog is all about shedding light on why January is the ideal time for both job seekers and employers to find new roles and take on new hires.
Let’s get into it.
It’s Been an Exciting Month for Placing Faces
We’ve done our first recruitment presentation in an actual room, to actual people. We’ve made the highest amount of placements that we’ve made since April (good sign for all of you that work in the market). We attended the Mortgage Advice Bureau conference and met plenty of lovely people. Oh yeah, we also WON an award – Best Candidate Attraction Through Social Media. If that doesn’t merit a follow on our Instagram from you, then I’m not sure what else we can do.
Link plug coming in,
Now we move onto the serious stuff…
Positive Market Trends
The market has been showing encouraging signs of improvement over the past couple of months. With a positive upswing, now is the perfect moment to delve into a market update:
- The Bank Rate is currently at 5.25%, which has been held for two consecutive months.
- Things are looking up in the mortgage market, with the choice of products rising month-on-month for the fourth consecutive month.
- Average rates for both a two-year and five-year fixed deal fell for a third consecutive month at the start of November. The average two-year fixed rate stood at 6.29%, down from 6.47% in October. Meanwhile, the average five-year fixed rate fell to 5.86% from 5.97% during the same period.
- Alongside falling fixed rates, and increased product availability, we’re looking at a pretty buoyant period in the mortgage market.
What’s going to happen in the housing market in 2024?
It’s the question that everybody working in the mortgage & property market is being asked by their friends. I wouldn’t be writing this newsletter if I knew, and you certainly wouldn’t be reading it if you did. Everybody has differing opinions on this. Most can agree that house prices have further to fall, but agreed sales have been increasing, signalling a positive trend.
People are ready to move and people are looking to sell. So that’s it right? Everything is going to snap back to normal! Well, not exactly. 2024 is likely to be another tough year but almost certainly better than 2023. Let’s be honest though, the level of competition isn’t difficult – net lending is looking to be at an all time low for 2023, making it the ‘San Marino Football Club’ of years, as far as mortgage lending goes. No offence to San Marino fans. We should see steady improvements over the next several years and that’ll likely start in 2024.
Rates are coming down, sales are being agreed under asking price (averaging at 5.5% below – according to Zoopla) and market experts predict rates to fall even further in summer 2024. Will it be enough to see real significant improvements? Nobody can answer that for sure. You can however take the positive signs and enjoy your Christmas & New Year period.
Companies’ Growth Plans for 2024
Our job is to speak to companies all of the time, many of our clients will tell you that we are constantly asking – how’s the market? What’s your plans for the next quarter? Many companies are gearing up to implement growth strategies in 2024, contributing to the economic (incredibly steady) bounce back. This strategic planning means an increased demand for skilled professionals to drive these growth initiatives. Typically, companies will be looking for candidates with the intention of filling roles ready for Q2 (Apr-Jun). Now is the time to align your career goals with companies on the brink of expansion!
Yeah Great, But Why Look in January?
Strategic Recruitment for Q1 & Q2
January is a strategic month for recruiters, as we engage in conversations with companies, understanding their plans for the year. These insights allow us to anticipate when and where job opportunities will emerge in the first two quarters. Proactive planning is key!
Two-Month Timeline for Job Transition
There will be active jobs in January, and active candidates, but even if you are looking to recruit in time for Q2, you’ve got to consider the typical two-month timeframe for job transitions (factoring in notice periods and interviews). This means January and February emerge as prime months for job seekers and companies alike. Seize the moment and make your move toward a brighter future!
New Year, New Opportunities
As professionals return from their Christmas break, the “new year, new start” mindset takes hold. Companies, having assessed their performance in the previous year, are on the lookout for fresh talent to drive success in 2024. Likewise, many firms have lost their lead source, while others have gained one; advisors are looking to transition into those companies that are doing well. Are you one of those companies seeing improvements? Because Q1 brings you an opportunity to land a top candidate.
Traditionally, the spring and summer months witness heightened job market activity in the mortgage sector. The milder weather and longer days create an ideal environment for property viewings and relocations. As the days lengthen, so do the opportunities for both job seekers and employers.
Interest Rates and Market Dynamics
Recent fluctuations in interest rates may have influenced some individuals to delay significant decisions such as a house or job move. Media coverage of the state of the economy has understandably created concern and anxiety in these areas. However, it’s crucial to recognise that these rates are becoming the new norm. While there may be expectations of a slight drop next year, it unfortunately won’t be a dramatic shift. That being said, there’s been positive signs for many in the past couple of months which will hopefully carry through into 2024.
So, that’s November’s issue done – and there’s plenty to look forward to by the sounds of it! Let’s make 2024 a year of growth, opportunities, and success. (And we’ll keep our fingers crossed that the market does eventually return to somewhat normal!)
To view a range of roles we’re currently hiring for, please visit the following link to our jobs page!
Got an upcoming interview? Read our blog on CV Writing. We’re here to help!
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Moneyfacts UK Mortgage Trends Treasury Report
Bank of England