I am sure that you will have heard the news that the housing market is very buoyant at the moment, and to be honest, this news is not wrong!
Having personally worked in the local housing market for the past 22 years, I have seen both busy times and slow times, but I have not seen anything like this.
It will depend on who you speak to, to understand why they think we find the market in such a whirlwind.
- Could it be the stamp duty effect still playing a part?
- Could it be the fact that mortgages have come back in reach with realistic loan to values?
- Could it be that interest rates are still at an all-time low, making borrowing money very cheap?
- Could it be the thought that interest rates are only going to go up in the years to come, so best secure a low rate now?
- Or could it be the need for space with more people working from home?
My opinion is, that it is more likely a good mix of all the above.
The result of this influx of buyers and home movers to the market has resulted in a simple case of demand outweighing the supply. This has all happened very quickly and has led to buyers competing to buy property thus increasing the prices of property.
I guess the big question is, will this end and will the market start to deflate? Or will we find that this is the new normal and things continue to rise? These are questions that we will all have to wait and see how things unfold in the months/years to come. I would say we would have to see a large sharp increase of property available or a shift in interest rates, to turn back to the sellers competing for the buyers.
This is always the way with the housing market, and it will always be a perpetual wave, so I would always move or buy your first house when you are ready to do so and not worry too much about the rise and fall of the market. If the market were to fall, it will more than likely go back up again in time, but the sooner you make the move the sooner you start to pay your mortgage off.
My advice for people looking to offer on their first house or on a new house would be: Like all things in life, you are best to be prepared.
This sounds obvious but it’s amazing how many people will offer on a house before getting the basic admin in order first, and then it’s a mad panic to get organised when the house they want is available.
Things you can do to be ready to offer on a house:
- Have your mortgage agreed in principle and an e-mailable copy ready to send in with your offer along with your proof of deposit. Know your loan to value (LTV) and let the Estate Agent know this. As an Estate Agent, it’s our job to explain to our client (the Sellers) how people will be funding the purchase of their property.
- Have a Solicitor lined up to act for you. Getting quotes from Solicitors and knowing who you are going to be using can be time consuming, so if this is done early then this can only be an extra advantage to you as a Buyer in the Seller’s eyes.
- If you have sold your current property, then have a very good and clear understanding of your chain. Advise the Estate Agent which company has sold your current home and provide a direct contact number for the best person to speak to.
- Think about the timescales for your move, do you have flexibility with this or not? Ask the Estate Agent selling the house what the Seller’s plans are moving forward. If the Seller is planning on buying on, then if you can, offer a flexible timescale with no pressure from you as a Buyer. This can go in your favour, and likewise if the Seller is looking to move fast, make sure they know that you too are keen to move asap.
I would always advise you to decide quickly following a viewing, as the market is moving so fast. Call the Estate Agent and make an offer over the phone, but also ask who the person is dealing with the property within the agency, and ask for their direct e-mail address. Have your offer written up along with all the above information and I am sure this will stand you in good stead in being in with a good chance of securing the property.
It’s a tricky market right now and I do personally wish you all the best with your house buying. I am more than happy to help and share my advice and expertise with you, so always feel free to call or e-mail me.
I am a firm believer in what’s meant to be is meant to be, and these things always work out for the best in the end, just never give up!
Guy Sommerville, Director