The pandemic has sparked a dramatic rise in house prices across the country, with properties achieving 10.4% more in December 2021 than they did the previous year. *
This is mostly due to a smaller supply of desirable homes clashing with greater demand, changing lifestyle trends, lower mortgage rates, and the recent stamp duty holiday.
With the market experiencing such rapid growth, is now the best time to move? While buying is undoubtedly a more expensive enterprise than in pre-COVID times, mortgage lenders are still offering some good deals – especially for those with a larger deposit.
The Bank of England is also considering loosening some affordability criteria in the coming months, helping first-time buyers borrow more. While this could increase your buying power, it might stimulate prices too.
If you’re thinking about moving soon but only have a 5% deposit available, you could take advantage of the Government’s mortgage guarantee scheme, which runs until the end of 2022. Nationwide has recently estimated that a 10% deposit is currently over half of a first-time buyer’s annual income, so the scheme is great news for those struggling to get on the property ladder.
House prices may also slow in growth, but this depends on the impact of the Omicron variant and whether rising inflation, interest rates, and living costs squeeze budgets enough to affect the housing market.
So far, sales have remained strong despite increasing economic pressures. The good news is that spring brings more homes to the market as people look to wrap up a sale before the summer holidays, helping to stabilise prices. Therefore, if you’re looking to buy within the next six months, now might be the perfect time to take the plunge.
Ready to discuss your options? Contact us for advice based on your unique circumstances.