Is the housing market picking up?


The property market was weak at the end of last year, with fewer homes coming to market, and prices falling in some areas.

But are there signs that the housing market, and the price of your home, is on the up again?

At Continuum we look at the answers – and at why you need our help with your property plans.

Have the buyers come back?

Certainly there are indications that interest in buying homes is picking up. London estate agents reported their highest buyer interest in 15 years. The numbers of potential buyers were 92% higher than the equivalent week last year, and up 95% on 2018.

There are similar stories across the country.

If the UK’s house price stagnation was the result of political uncertainty it looks as though the election result kick-started the market, and there is even talk of a ‘Boris Bounce’.

However, as yet there is no evidence that these potential buyers are paying more for houses. In fact, some of them may be keen on taking advantage of a still depressed market to secure a bargain.

If you have found a house bargain, you may want to act fast to take advantage of it. At Continuum we can often find mortgage solutions faster than by going direct to lenders

A complicated picture

It is possible that the increased buyer numbers are not all they appear. January is usually a busy time for estate agents as buyers decide a new year means a new home, and numbers this year have been swelled by the thousands who had adopted a wait and see approach. The high number of sales in December were made up in part by those who delayed their purchases until the result of the election was clear.

It may simply be too early to see if the buyer numbers increase will be maintained.

So, what about the prices?

As usual, the actual figures on property prices are mixed. Some commentators suggest the release of pent-up demand following the clear general election result will mean that market forces are sure to put prices up.

Certainly, according to the Nationwide, UK house prices have risen at their fastest annual rate for 14 months, with an increase of 1.9% in January.

However, the Nationwide, which naturally enough bases its figures on its own mortgage data, saw house prices up by just 0.5% in January compared with the previous month, and has said it expected property prices to remain flat in 2020.

The true story is as always that different parts of the country are seeing the market work in different ways. Annual house price growth stood at 6.1% in Edinburgh in December – the highest among UK cities, with Nottingham seeing the second biggest increase at 5.2%. Despite the presence of new buyers in the market, London still seems to be struggling to show a price increase in any but the most expensive sectors.

In the current uncertain market, getting the best possible mortgage deal is more important than ever. The simplest way to do that is to call us at Continuum – we can search the entire mortgage lending market for you.

According to the latest word from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors chief economist Simon Rubinsohn, anycurrent Boris bounce might be short-term.  Concerns about affordability, and possible turbulence from the next round of Brexit negotiations might keep the brakes on for a little longer.

There could still be time to find a bargain home before prices take off again, and if you are planning a move for 2020, it might be best to start looking at the best way to fund it now.

Of course, at Continuum we are ready to help – and we have some important advantages compared with going direct to a lender. We can look at the offering of all the mortgage lenders. Not only can we help you identify the hidden costs and see which really are the best deals for you, we can introduce you to deals that are only available to broker services like ours.

Call us

Call us to see how much we could potentially save you on your next home.

The information contained in this article is based on the opinion of Continuum and does not constitute financial advice or a recommendation to suitable investment strategy, you should seek independent financial advice before embarking on any course of action.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

 

References:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/02/03/brexit-sparks-housing-boom-capital-estate-agents-reporting-highest/

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/uk/will-happen-property-market-2020-will-brexit-deal-boost-house/

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