I get asked a lot “What’s going to happen to the housing market?” I guess that a lot of people would expect a property professional to know the answer, however does anyone know exactly what to expect in these turbulent times.
With interest rates predicted to be around 2.5% by the end of the year and inflation currently at 6.2% and rising faster than predicted, the war in Ukraine, sanctions on Russia and many of its oligarchs causing huge distress to the Russian people and putting huge pressure on the cost of oil creating a shortage and associated price increases adding to inflation and causing lots of financial issues for us here in the UK.
As I sit here and write this, I am not too concerned about how houses are selling or the figures that they are currently achieving. Here at Cross Keys Estates, we are still seeing properties going under offer in record speeds and with eye-watering offers. Just this week we have put a property on the market, booked 12 viewings in 2 days and now accepted an offer £20,000 above the asking price in under 5 days since first appearing on the property portals.
“WOWZERS” I hear you say but this is not a one off, in fact, this is happening on many of our properties at the moment. The rush for buyers to climb the next step on the property ladder shows no sign of slowing down, in fact the opposite is happening, people are entering into bidding wars for some of these properties. The exact same thing is also going on with rental properties, we are renting out houses even before they are coming to the market and we also have a growing waiting list of prospective tenants looking for a home.
So going back to the first question, “What do I think is going to happen to the housing market?” In short “I don’t know” but I do have an opinion which is what I will explain to you now. There are a lot of people, especially the younger generation, including many first-time buyers, that have only recently managed to get on the housing ladder. If the financial experts are correct then the increases in living costs, inflation and interest rates on mortgages and loans could prove to be too much for many of these people to keep their finances going.
The last time we saw these signs was in 2007 when financial markets collapsed under the strain of adverse lending and the poor decisions from the banks and other financial institutes, it was at this time that property prices fell between 10 % and some areas even up to 50%.
Now I am not saying that this is what is about to happen, however, here in the UK, we are experiencing one of the highest amounts of borrowing than ever before, mortgages and personal loans have been at the lowest levels of a lifetime and a lot of the younger generation have lived a life on borrowing. If the interest rates rise to above 2% then this level of borrowing will become unstainable and there is no evidence that borrowers have any means to pay the back the money borrowed.
I do think that the rising house prices will level off by the end of the year as will the demand for properties. I do not (at this moment in time) think that the values of these properties are likely to decline. With all of this in mind, now is still a fantastic time to sell your home if you are looking to cash in on any equity that may be in your property.
The demand is high, the values are high and the borrowing costs are still very low. Summer is not very far away and the perfect property right now is any three or four bedroomed houses with good size gardens, preferably with off street parking or a garage.
If you have a property that matches or comes close to this description then please get in touch with Plymouth’s number one (#1) estate and letting agent where we can offer you the best service in Plymouth and the surrounding areas for the best value.