A 2021 Market Update
This week, Craig takes a look at the housing and mortgage market so far in 2021.
The property market at the halfway point of the year
In June 2021, demand for property continues for various reasons. The stamp duty extension has certainly helped, but a big factor is that people with families are looking for more space and in the right location, especially now that working from home is such a big thing.
Average house price
The average house price is £261,000 in the UK, which is a rise of £22,000 over the last 12 months. More regionally, the north east is up 6.9%, Yorkshire/Humberside is up 10.2% and the north west is up 10.4% year on year.
So you can see there is still a big increase in the average house price over the last 12 months. Also contributing to that are mortgage rates, which are currently very low.
Rates are incredibly low and 95% mortgages are also in big demand. And with the mortgage guarantee scheme by the government, there’s a good feeling in the property market right now. Since February, as vaccination rollouts continue and lockdown has eased, people are making the most of life.
Is it a good time to buy?
The feelgood factor is definitely helping the housing market. But there is a real divide when you ask whether it’s a good time to buy. Some people are saying it isn’t, that house prices will drop from July and people should wait and see what happens at the end of the stamp duty extension.
But others are saying that because mortgage rates are so low, house prices will continue to rise. To them, there is no better time to buy than right now. My opinion, for what it’s worth, is that if you’re looking to buy, keep looking. I think house prices will continue to rise in the second half of the year. Stamp duty is having an effect on the market, but I don’t think it’s the ‘be all and end all’.
Demand will continue because people want more space, to be closer to family and make the most of working from home.
Our mortgage advisers have the following tips to help you find and buy a dream home:
- Stay close to the property portals such as Rightmove and On the Market – make sure you’ve got alerts set up so you can get a viewing straight away.
- Stay close to estate agents – Some properties are never listed on the portals, because they are offered to buyers straight away. Make sure the agents know what you’re looking for.
- Watch out for fall-throughs – One in three property purchases falls through, so keep an eye on property sites based on price. These fall throughs won’t appear under ‘newest listings’.
- Get in the best possible position – Another one in three houses are currently selling for over the asking price. At the moment, it’s not about the house, it’s about buyer position. They aren’t necessarily selling for the highest price, they’re going to the person that’s in the best position: who has a Decision in Principle and is ready to move – ideally with no chain.
- Lock in your mortgage deal. Mortgage rates are low, so it’s a good time to buy and it’s worth taking on a five-year mortgage deal. If you get a fixed rate mortgage you know that your payments will stay stable for months and months, so you won’t have any nasty surprises.
For more advice tailored to your specific situation, get in touch. Arrange a no-obligation chat to explore your options with one of our expert advisors.