The most recent figures, according to Land Registry, reveal that UK house prices increased by 12.1% in the year to September but that there was considerable variation across the land. London, as per normal, drove the prices up, rising 18.8%, with the South East at 11.6% and 9.1% elsewhere.
The important fact to note here though is that these figures are at least 3 months out of date - and why local agents have far more of a finger on the pulse as to what is really happening than the Government - as they are taken from registered completions, meaning the sales were agreed at least 3 to 4 months ago.
In contrast to the above, we have seen reductions in prices as potential buyers are taking a ‘wait and see’ attitude to the housing market. Therefore, in reality, prices are currently artificially low, as more people are sitting on the fence watching before getting off and committing to buy. The effect of this ‘should I stay or should I go now’ is to create an excellent opportunity for those who do not want to put their lives on pause and are able to press play and take advantage of this, no doubt, temporary situation.
The property market is a nervous kind of beast, which is both easily startled and encouraged, and it wouldn’t take too much to rapidly improve its confidence and cause prices to suddenly surge to those being achieved a few months ago. In fact all it would need is a few more encouraging press comments to radically change the beast’s mind and cause a rapid change to prevailing conditions.
Therefore, if you are looking to buy your first home, or move up the ladder, and are perched on the pending fence, then I would suggest now is a prime time to jump down and benefit. I would also advise that taking a medium term view and ensuring that the property is affordable even with a small increase in interest rates is wise and necessary, even though following the Bank of England’s latest report - and Governor Mark Carney’s comments - does not look likely until at least next autumn.
To this end, Kerr & Co. have a wide choice of properties to suit all circumstances that we are currently marketing and that you may wish to review at www.kerrandco.com – and we would be delighted to give you, as always, the very best service and advice.