Property prices are predicted to continue to grow as demand for homes outstrips the current housing supply. The Chartered Institute of Surveyors (RICS) forecasts house prices will continue to rise at 6% per year until more homes are put up for sale. The housing market has been flat since the banking crisis but it is now showing signs of life and even vigour, with the highest number of homes being sold in the first 3 months of this year since February 2008.
In the South-East, in places like Maidstone, Ashford and Canterbury, the number of new builds is not keeping pace with the number of new buyers entering the market. In London and Kent house prices are now above their 2008 peak and the Office for Budget Responsibility predicts house price inflation will reach 9% this year. One bit of good news for buyers, all of this upward pressure on house prices doesn’t seem to be deterring first time buyers. According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders first time buyers accounted for 44% of house purchases last year.
Recently the Bank of England tweaked its forward guidance, hinting that it may raise the interest rate to 0.75% in late 2015, and the Chancellor extended the “Help to Buy” Scheme until 2020. This all means that it could be the ideal time to get on the property ladder or upgrade your current house. Waiting another year may find your dream home more expensive, as well as the cost of your mortgage or a requirement for larger personal deposits.
According to RICS, estate agents have sold on average 22.7 houses each in the three months to March, the highest number since February 2008. Houses are selling fast and with this upturn in the housing market a lot of the associated industries, such as solicitors and removal companies, are also seeing fuller order books. This means that not only do you need to move quickly to secure your house but you need to book your mover early to avoid disappointment. Whilst you may not know your exact move date start talking to your removal firm early as they can help. For instance, use of short-term storage may unlock that complicated “chain” and actually save you money in the long run.
All the indicators are that the housing market is growing and growing fast, making it a sellers’ market. Get in quick to secure the best deals and don’t forget to talk to your friendly removal company sooner rather than later.