The London buying market is currently quite 'soft' as a result of the increase in stamp duty for second home owners, combined with nervous buyers concerned about the effects of brexit and various other political factors. This means there are good deals to be had out there and whilst there isn't a huge amount of supply there are choices for buyers.
The London buying market has cooled considerably, however, may industry experts think that 2016 will see more price rises. It is therefore anticipated that demand will begin to increase in the New Year. Rental prices are increasing and will continue to do so in the next few months.
The housing market is gaining momentum again following a growth in confidence from buyers. The Help To Buy scheme fuels this and it is anticipated that this will create excess demand for property which will cause prices to rise. London has become a really difficult market for buyers due to limited stock and growing demand. This will continue well into next year so now is the time to buy before you see another 15% on prices come spring.
The expected bounce in the buying market after the Olympic summer months has not materialised. The rental market continues to be bouyant and the supply of good properties is still very low. We envisage that the buying market will gradually gain momentum in the New Year and the rental market will continue to be very tough for the foreseeable future. Buyers are in a good position now to take advantage of the slow sales market by having more choice and by negotiating a better deal.
There is a general feeling that prices will remain stable this year. Analysts are predicting around -4% to +3%. These are national predictions though and as we all know the London market tends to out perform the rest of UK. Therefore, the London market should see a small increase this year especially as there are so few properties on the market.
Market activity will be greater in the first few months as stamp duty on properties over £1million is due to rise by 1% in April encouraging sellers to sell and buyers to buy. Also, rising rental prices will encourage more potential buyers to become active this year.
There are differences of opinion on what's going to happen to the housing market in the next few months and years. Some think that we are heading for another correction as first time buyers are still struggling to get enough deposit together, others see that there is still strong demand for what little property is available which will naturally push prices up.
There will continue to be these fluctuations but in the longer term, property will continue to perform well. So, the key is to buy for the longer term rather than the quick turnaround.
We are optimistic about the year ahead. Whilst it is taking a while for the banks to loosen their lending terms again, on the positive side, interest rates are being kept low, inflation is coming down and the Government is keeping up the momentum in trying to turn the economy around.
We believe that prices will not dip much lower than they are now and that by December 2009 prices will be within 4% of current levels. Confidence will build slowly throughout the coming months although, for now, the emphasis is on cash buyers and buyers with large deposits who are in a good position to pick up a bargain.
It is widely expected that prices will begin to rise again next year. This will be due to better access to mortgage products increasing the number of active buyers combined with a lack of housing stock as more vendors will tend to sit tight after all that has happened.
Now that the high street banks have agreed to pass on some of the recent large interest rate cuts we should start to see some better mortgage products becoming available. However, all lenders will now be very cautious about what and how they lend which means that buyers who have little deposit will still struggle to get funds.
Prices have come down by around 15% in the last year and may fall a little more in the coming months. Although, this shouldn't put off buyers as there are some very good bargains to be had in the market place, some of which more than compensate any future falls in price. These good deals will not last for long though as sellers are now faced with lower mortgage payments and will therefore be in a stronger position to hold out for a higher price.
Cash buyers should take advantage of the very stong position they have in the market now. Some properties are available for half the price of what they were going for a year ago.
The market has slowed now and will remain this way until the New Year, possibly until the next fall in interest rates which is predicted to be in February.
Although the credit crunch has halted much activity, prices in London have remained strong due to the fact that there is still strong demand for good properties and the cost of borrowing is still relatively cheap.
Many buyers are thinking that they will wait now until the New Year before buying but they may be missing a trick. With less demand now for property than there will be in two months time and because many Vendors who try to sell now are usually open to offers due to the time of year, now is a good time to take advantage of this.
We are seeing high levels of buyer demand and very low levels of new stock coming on to the market. This has caused prices to reach double figures this year. Sellers are holding on to their properties in the hope of further growth making it increasingly difficult for buyers to buy anything.
Some areas of London are up more than others, in particular prime London, but this will do little to deter the city folk who will be looking to buy properties with their bonuses in the New Year. Bonuses are set to be 18% higher next year (accounting for £8.8 billion) and an estimated 4,200 people will be looking to receive more than £1 million.
Foreign cash is still being spent on London property too, especially at the high end of the market.
Next year, demand will remain strong, particularly in the first 6 months due to bonuses being spent. Supply may increase a little but not nearly enough to support demand. This leads us to increasing prices in the first few months. It is likely then that interest rates will go up once or twice which will cool demand and knock buyer confidence, stabilizing prices for a while .
2006 has taken off from day one. Buyers are out in huge numbers sweeping up all available stock and are paying close to the asking price too. In London, this is largely due to the biggest city bonus payout in years. With a long list of buyers waiting to pounce on the next property to come onto the market, the best way to make sure you are at the front of the queue is to have a good deposit and hire a property finder.
The imbalance of buyers to sellers is likely to remain this way for the next few months and we anticipate that the second half of this year should be a little easier. However, by then, prices may be 5% higher.
Flexibility is the key word in this type of market. Buyers with rigid criteria will find it very difficult.
September and October have been unusual months for the housing market. Traditionally sellers flood the market with new instructions from the beginning of September. This is usually accompanied by almost the same level of buyer activity. However, this hasn’t happened. Old stock carried over from earlier months has meant there has been a good supply of properties for sale and the market in favour of the buyer. But we are now seeing a change. New instructions are slow and buyer activity has picked up since the end of September, so supply and demand have evened up a little.
Overall, this year has seen a small rise in house prices, Land Registry have this at 5.4% over the last 12 months. Whilst some price corrections have occurred, buyer affordability has improved slightly through a cut in interest rates, more competitive mortgage products and an increase in earnings. Plus, we have seen more foreign buyers enter the market.
Looking ahead, we envisage that interest rates will remain the same for the next few months, buyer activity will increase, especially in the first quarter of next year due to people using property for pensions, and seller activity will remain sluggish. This would lead to more, single digit, price rises next year.
We are now entering what is traditionally the quieter summer months. This is when the kids are off school, people go on holiday and the housing market crawls along until September. However, if you’re looking to find a property at a good price then now is the time to do it. Prime properties are still selling very quickly and for near asking price but most properties available are sticking on estate agents books and many vendors are looking for a quick sale.
The market in general is fairly stable. We are anticipating a cut in interest rates next month which should boost buyer activity a little and the market is still in the buyer's favour so it’s a good time to make the best of it.
We anticipate that, on the whole, prices will stay level for the coming months and will start to creep upwards after that. The winning of the Olympic bid last week will boost buyer confidence, Stratford developers are already showing signs of increasing prices by 10-15%, and an increasing number of investors will start to use their pensions to buy property next year. People’s earnings are now playing catch up with house prices which will also add strength to this forecast. Plus, the atrocities in London last week will have minimal effect on the housing market.
Spring is traditionally a time when the housing market picks up. This year, buyers and sellers have been holding off slightly for two reasons. Firstly, the up and coming General Election and what impact this may have on house prices. Secondly, the possibility of a rise in interest rates due largely to inflationary oil prices.
Whilst the former is all but upon us, we feel that there will be a small burst of activity which follows, regardless of which party wins. Families move, more often than not, because they have to (better schools, more bedrooms etc) and first time buyers still have a burning desire to own their own home. However, this activity will only last for a few weeks before the summer starts which is usually a time when the market quietens.
A rise in interest rates is quite possible, but, we believe that this would only be a small rise so as not to damage the fragile state of the housing market or indeed the manufacturing industry.
Since the beginning of the year it's true to say that, on the whole, house prices are stable, buyer and seller activity has increased a little and confidence is improving. We see this continuing for some months to come.
After several months of small house price falls in most areas of UK and little buying activity, the market is slowly gathering pace again.
Interest rates have settled and look unlikely to change in the coming months. The forthcoming General Election this summer means that the Government will do whatever it can to avoid any upsets.
Buyers who are actively looking this month are being quite careful about what they buy but at the same time, the level of new stock coming onto the market is low for this time of year which limits buyers options. This should improve in the coming weeks.
The market forecast for this year is positive. Buying and selling activity will continue to settle, prices will rise very slightly and confidence will return which is long overdue.
Interest rates have remained the same and house prices are continuing to dip. This is not shocking news. We believe that there may be a few more months of modest dips in house prices. But, by the end of next year we think prices will be similar to current levels or may have even seen a small growth. It is also important to note that prices fell for four consecutive months in 2000, which was the middle of the boom period.
There are three reasons why we think this will happen. Firstly, interest rates are still low, especially when compared to the late 80's, and are set to stay low according to most analysts. It has been said by many experts that the latter half of next year will see rates falling again. Secondly, employment is strong and, over time, increases in average earnings will fuel house buying. Thirdly, many of us still feel strongly that property will be a better long term investment than pensions and shares.
Whilst many first time buyers are tending to hold tight in the hope that more price falls will help them make the first step, the market is being kept afloat by investors who are still investing.
So, should you buy now? It's all about affordability and the length of time you intend to own property. If you don't overstretch your borrowing and plan to be in the market for the longer term, the fact that prices are fluctuating is irrelevant.
It was anticipated by many that there would be a flurry of vendors putting their properties on the market in September and October as some property experts were warning of a serious price correction. This hasn't happened on either account. Whilst some areas and property types have seen a small price correction, on the whole, the market is levelling off. The five (quarter percent) interest rate rises over recent months have had the desired effect and it is anticipated that the base rate will remain at around 5% for the next 6-12 months.
Many buyers are still unsure where the market is headed and will probably remain unsure for another couple of months. By this time, we will have seen either a further increase in interest rates which will cause buyers to sit tight for longer or no further changes to interest rates which will encourage more buyers to start buying again. We believe the latter is more likely. The Bank of England are aware that if they continue to raise interest rates they are in danger of crashing the market.
So, what do the current market conditions mean for buyers? It's a buyers market, but it's not easy pickings. Fewer properties for sale means the search will be harder. However, there will always be vendors who have to sell regardless of market conditions.
If you are looking to buy and a Property Finder can secure you a good reduction in price it's best to take advantage of this now rather than wait until you have competition for the best properties. Sitting on the fence in the hope that prices will come down by 25-30% will just prolong the heartache.
So far so good. Our market comments in June seem to be happening the way we thought in terms of the market stagnating – allowing for the fact that we are in the quiet summer month of August of course.
Prices in the housing market move in waves. Periods of stagnation, rises and sometimes falls. After the crash of the late 80's, prices stagnated for a while. By 1996/7 (approximately 7 years later) incomes, employment and buyer confidence were up allowing prices in the housing market to play catch up. Prices have been rising for about 7 years now and we have recently seen them start to plateau. There are 3 ways prices can go from here – up, down or stagnate. When you take everything into consideration it is our belief that they will stagnate. How long for depends on future economic factors and changes, especially income, employment and the cost of borrowing – but 7 years might be a good guess.
Longer term, i.e. in 15-20 years time, as we have said previously, the supply of available homes will be low and demand will be high due to an increasing population and lifestyle changes. This means that prices will be as high as the market can cope with.
As expected, the Bank of England has increased interest rates again by one quarter per cent. There is a very good reason for Mervin King's speech last week and that is to curb spending whilst not damaging consumer confidence. Their aim is not to crash the market but to slow down peoples spending to a level that is sustainable.
We should, therefore, see house prices begin to stabilise and remain relatively static for several months, especially since we are entering the quieter summer months.
The media will probably now start to suggest that we are heading for price falls in the housing market but, unless an economic crisis occurs, it is far more likely that we will just see a fall in the rate of house price growth. There is a big difference between the two. To overcome any possibility of negative equity in the short term it comes down to buying the right property, in the right area, for the right price – something that Capital Property Finders always aims to achieve.
Every buyer has their own reason for spending money on a property. Those looking to make a fast buck and those investing for the short term will now be thinking twice about it. However, the majority of buyers buy a property to live in or on a buy to let basis for the longer term. As the supply of property in the next 10 – 15 years is expected to fall shorter and shorter of demand, property prices will naturally rise over this period.