The national housing market paints a picture of the “summer doldrums” with mortgage approvals for house purchases at their lowest this year and 23.3% below their long-term average. The Bank of England’s monetary policy committee has also been advised that, by the end of the year, house prices will have risen by just 2%, which would be well below inflation and its slowest pace for five years.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has indicated that the UK should prepare for ‘a few interest rate rises over the next few years, although house prices will continue to be supported by high levels of employment, and low-interest rates (even if these increase slightly later in the year) as well as, primarily, a shortage of stock.
However, there is demand out there, and 66% of a survey* of 2,000 renters said that they would buy, but that homes were too expensive, despite the monthly mortgage repayment often being lower than their rent.
We are certainly finding that even more buyers, wealthy and well-qualified, would also move, but they feel there is too little choice of property, so they don’t put their own on the market, thereby feeding the problem. This is a shame as we always have a good supply of properties that are not formally on the market, but where the owner has indicated a willingness to sell “off-market” if a buyer were to materialise.
At this time of year, some people also consider removing their house from the market for the summer. Our strong advice is “DON’T”. Whilst the football, the weather, and imminent holidays may be distracting for some, for a good buyer, these are just irritations. Let other people withdraw their home and yours becomes even more desirable due to temporary local scarcity.
Whilst we don’t have a magic wand, we do have some fabulous people with some very creative solutions for those who are serious about buying or selling. Why not put us to the test? Please call your local branch today.
Neil Newstead, FARLA MNAEA MIRPM
Chief Executive Officer