Well, that was quite a week for the property market! Although it’s always a hot topic in the press, the amount of coverage last week was completely off the scale.
However, as the dust begins to settle after the mini-budget, you might be wondering what it all means if you’re planning to sell your home, either now or early next year.
Autumn has always been an underrated season for selling. The golden leaves make streets and gardens look wonderful for photos and viewings, while the pressures of Christmas and school-holiday deadlines are gone.
But is that enough in 2022?
Actually, yes! Despite the initial shocks and scary headlines, the mini-budget hasn’t been all bad news for the property market. In fact, the ground has been laid to support more home ownership from the bottom rung of the ladder.
And if you do have plans to sell up and buy your next home in the spring, there are real benefits to taking action now, as you’ll discover in this week’s blog.
WILL THE STAMP DUTY CUT MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
Whether or not Scotland follows suit with the Stamp Duty cuts in England and Wales, their effects will filter through the whole property market.
Rightmove recorded a 10% increase in activity after the Chancellor’s announcement, and from what I’m seeing right now, the likely short-term effects will look something like this:
- a honeymoon period that spurs the market on until at least the Bank of England’s next meeting on November 3rd
- more first-time buyers entering the market, leading to more first-time sellers trading up
- a ripple effect across the UK as sellers relocate to their next home and dream location.
The upfront costs of buying a property have been a longstanding barrier for many first-time buyers. But with the Stamp Duty changes making over 60% of homes in England and Wales exempt from the tax, the resulting enthusiasm to buy is a moment worth tapping into.
ARE ANY MORTGAGES STILL AVAILABLE?
It’s not often we use the words ‘wild’ and ‘mortgage’ in the same sentence, but the week after September’s mini-budget was possibly the wildest week ever in the mortgage market!
Lenders removed a record number of products, but it’s also worth remembering that on April 1st 2020, hundreds of mortgages were also withdrawn as the lockdowns began.
So yes, mortgages are still available and here are some things to consider:
- Lenders are already reintroducing products after reassessing the economy and market.
- Interest rates will probably continue to rise in the short term, so finding a home now and securing a mortgage should mean getting a cheaper deal than you would next year.
- Looking for mortgage offers with expiry dates of 6 months will give you enough time to complete the conveyancing process for a move in the spring.
It’s hard to say exactly where the mortgage market will be in 2023, but with everything pointing to higher interest rates, getting your plans underway now could save you thousands of pounds.
WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH PROPERTY PRICES?
It’s easy to get wrapped up in second-guessing the market, but people move home for so many reasons, and they’re always about life moving forward. I rarely meet anyone who sees buying a home as a purely financial transaction – it’s always far deeper than that.
Nonetheless, here are some price info
- Although year-on-year prices rose by 9.5% in September, Nationwide’s figures also show that month-on-month, prices stalled.
- Nobody knows exactly what prices will do, but it’s probably safe to say that homes have reached their peak values for a while.
- Predictions of property slumps after Brexit and during Covid completely failed to materialise, and the ongoing lack of supply is widely expected to avoid a severe crash.
None of this is to say that price fluctuations don’t matter, but it’s worth bearing in mind that most of us only move home every 12-20 years. That’s far longer than any previous correction cycle, all of which have seen values go on to reach new highs.
WHY IS BUYER DEMAND STILL SO HIGH?
It’s the dream of almost everyone in the UK to own their own home, and in the words of Rightmove, “the market remains surprisingly resilient despite growing economic pressures.” In fact, buyer demand is up 20% on the pre-pandemic five-year average.
But it’s not so surprising when you take into account the following factors:
- While the number of homes coming to market has returned to 2019 levels, there still aren’t enough to go around.
- The rental market is getting worse and worse as landlords exit the market and give their tenants notice
- The prospect of the Bank of England’s base rate hitting 6% by the middle of 2023 is proving a strong motivating factor for buyers to lock in a deal now.
In short, the rental market is turning tenants into buyers, and the current lending storm is seen as the last chance for a while to buy a home with a relatively good interest rate.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE TO CONSIDER?
You won’t be the only person today thinking about moving in the spring, and local agents in the area you want to live in will know of sellers who share your desired timeframe.
This can be really useful when you’re looking to make improvements to the home you’re buying, because you’ll soon run into delays with booking contractors and the supply chain issues hanging over from the pandemic. People are waiting months and months to get work done.
So by finding a home now and agreeing a delayed completion date, you’ll have plenty of time to:
- identify suitable contractors in advance and book them months ahead to coincide with your moving date
- submit any requests for planning permission or building regulations in time to have them approved before you own the next property
- finalise designs and order materials so the works can be finished as soon as possible after you move in.
Being able to plan upgrades on your next home so far in advance is a rare luxury, so if you’ve been thinking of moving in Spring, you could save yourself lots of waiting time by taking the first step now.
Is it time to bring your moving plans forward?
There’s much to think about when you move, even more so when your plans change course. So if you’re considering selling your home in Stourbridge and nearby but aren’t sure whether to wait it out or start the ball rolling, why not get in touch?
Call me on 01384 958811 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chat about your move and to explore what’s right for you.