By Maria Stokes
It’s been an unprecedented couple of years within the housing market, mainly due to the unforeseen worldwide pandemic that quickly spread across all nations back in 2020 and has continued to shape the world’s economy since.
We’ve seen a huge surge in house sales over these last two years, with house prices rising month after month due to the high demand for property. Homeowners have tended to come away from the cities and have chosen more rural areas, with space to work from home and the importance of a garden at the forefront. And of course, the stamp duty holiday also incentivised many to take that next step on the property ladder, saving homebuyers up to £15,000!
So, where are we at with it all now?
House prices have gained a whopping 11% year on year, however, the market now appears to have begun to settle down. Soaring prices and the fierce competition we have seen between buyers is predicted to slow down as 2022 progresses. This may come as a relief to those who have sold their property, but struggled with their onward purchase, either frustrated by a lack of properties to choose from or high competition on properties they have offered on.
This will also come as a relief to first-time buyers who may have struggled to keep up with saving for the deposit required to purchase a home, as well as high demand which led to most properties being sold for well over their asking price.
There now seems to be a mismatch between supply and demand. A recent survey carried out by Savills found that 90% of house hunters have had their property search affected by a lack of available properties.
This has also been reflected in Rightmove’s time-to-sell data, with properties taking an average of just days to sell, rather than weeks or months.
Here at Arden, we have continued to list a consistent supply of new instructions throughout all our areas and we will always let our customers know first about new properties that suit their needs before we list them on Rightmove. This means our customers get the first chance to book viewings on properties that interest them. If you’ve struggled to find your next property, contact your local Arden branch and we’ll get you registered to start receiving the properties that you want to view before everyone else.
What will happen to house prices for the remainder of 2022?
Over the first quarter of 2022, the number of homes on the market increased each month, returning to normal seasonal trends (data according to TwentyCi). But these numbers are still 44% down on pre-pandemic levels and could take months to return to more normal levels, so strong house price growth is therefore likely to continue over the short-term.
However, it’s likely that house price growth will begin to slow down as the year continues, but we do not expect to see house prices fall. Savills have forecast prices will rise by 3.5% this year, and by 3% in 2023. Although, there have been fears in the media of property prices crashing, forecasts suggest it is still a good time to move, with your investment in property expected to continue to steadily grow.
What about mortgages?
Through 2021, mortgage rates fell consistently, with lenders battling to offer the cheapest deals to those with decent deposits. However, this is now beginning to change with inflation and interest rising. We have seen the Bank of England raise base rates several times since last October, which in turn has affected the mortgage deals on offer.
There are some good deals still to be had if you shop the market. Here at Arden, we have in-house financial advisors who have access to the whole of the market, to secure you the best rate out there to suit your needs. So, if your mortgage is coming up to renewal time or you’re a first-time buyer, contact your local Arden office and ask to speak to one of our friendly advisors.
If you’re thinking of selling, why not find out how much your home is worth? For your free, no obligation valuation, contact your local Arden branch.