Back to School

Richard Ashton of Allan Morris suggests it’s not just our children who might be learning some timely lessons this autumn…

‘Mortgage lending at its highest in seven years’, ‘House prices jump 4.3% in the three months to July – the highest quarterly growth for 11 years’, ‘Rents across England and Wales rose faster in July than in any month since records began in 2009’. All these recent headlines point to a property market that is flying. Or is it?

Have we finally risen from the dark days of 2008? Perhaps we haven’t, for other headlines suggest a property crisis. A media contradicting itself is not unusual. There are too few houses being built for the increasing demand or to meet the government targets. There is a need for more social housing. The rental sector will continue to grow because it is still very difficult for first time buyers to get onto the property ladder – and all this on next-to-zero interest rates. What happens when they start to rise which could be next year? Also those startling headlines are across the board. They don’t show that some regions are still suffering and that London is not so buoyant as it once was.

So what does this mean for the autumn market – the back-to-school property market? It means that, as ever, pricing is key. Sellers shouldn’t get too carried away by the headlines. Just because one area is doing well doesn’t mean all are. There are after all fluctuations even in our own local market. And when there is extraordinary pressure on prices brought on by lack of stock it often means there could be a dip in values when there is an increase of stock later.

Our advice, whether buying or selling this coming autumn, is not to get too carried away. Stick to the tried and tested methods of sale and purchase. Sellers: ensure that your property is looking at its best, make sure that you have an agent acting for you with a superb track record in marketing and achieving great sales in the local area, and above all price to sell. Buyers: look for the best local conveyancing solicitors – they will save you time; check that you have all your funds arranged in principle and remember those potential interest rate rises will affect your repayments in years to come. Buyers and sellers: be flexible, be reasonable, be helpful and remember that this is not just about buying or selling a property; it is about moving on and starting a new chapter in your life. Above all else, that is the most important thing.

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