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What is happening to the UK property market

What is happening to the uk property market

What is happening to the UK property market

Whether you’re applying for your first mortgage, or you’re already a homeowner, you’ll know there’s a lot of news coverage about interest rates, inflation and mortgage loans right now. 

So what’s happening, and why? How it might affect you will depend on what type of mortgage deal you’re looking for, or the type of deal you’re on – and how much longer is left on the term of your loan. 

Plus, forecasts on rising interest rates are changing quickly, along with wider economic conditions. No one knows for sure what’s ahead, but we’re still seeing tens of thousands of people requesting to view properties each day, which is the same level that we’ve seen all month.

So if you are thinking of moving, or if your mortgage term is coming to an end soon, here we’ve tried to help answer some of the questions you might have. 

Why are mortgage rates rising now?

Before this week, mortgage rates had already been increasing throughout the year. The Bank of England sets the ‘base rate’, which lenders use to set their own mortgage rates. In January of this year, the base rate was 0.25%. Since then, it has gone up incrementally and is currently 2.25%. 

The Government sets the Bank of England an inflation target of 2%, but the current rate is 9.9%. It’s the Bank of England’s responsibility to make sure inflation is low and stable, so they need to bring inflation back down. The way they do that is by increasing interest rates. 

The Bank of England forecasts inflation to rise to about 11% in October, and that it will stay above 10% for a few months before starting to fall. 

Rising interest rates have led to an increase in the average mortgage rates that are available. As an example, if you have a 10% deposit and choose to take out a two-year fixed rate mortgage, the typical rate that was available in January was 2%. That increased to an average of 3.9% at the end of August. These rises had been predicted and lenders were able to factor them in gradually. 

Mortgage rates have been rising further this week because when unexpected things happen in financial markets, they’re likely to have a direct impact. Last Friday (23rd September), the Chancellor’s mini-budget unveiled the biggest tax cuts for 50 years, including a stamp duty cut for home-movers in England and Northern Ireland.

This has resulted in a lot of speculation about how these cuts might impact the UK’s finances. The value of the pound has seen record falls, which is likely to drive inflation up further. As a result, it’s widely believed that the Bank of England may need to raise interest rates faster and higher than previously forecasted. 

At the minute, there’s a suggestion from the financial markets that the bank base rate could rise to 5.8% by next spring. This has impacted the underlying costs of fixed-rate mortgages. This is why some lenders have repriced deals and others have temporarily removed some or all of their products. Some of the lenders who have withdrawn products are expected to return with new deals in the coming days and weeks.

How might increasing interest rates affect my mortgage?

If you’re a first-time buyer, moving home, or remortgaging, it’s likely you’ll be impacted by the changes. If you have a fixed-rate deal, the good news is that it will be business as usual, and your monthly repayments won’t change, at least until your current deal ends. 

If you don’t do anything, at the end of your deal you’ll automatically move on to the lender’s Standard Variable Rate (SVR). These rates tend to be higher than other mortgage rates and are generally changed to reflect movements in the Bank of England’s base rate. 

Take a look at how your repayments would change if you have a 25-year mortgage term and are looking at a fixed-rate for £200,000, based on rates increasing from between 2% to 6%. 

Fixed mortgage rate (£200,000 over 25 years) Monthly payments Increase in monthly payments
1% £754
2% £848 +£94
3% £948 +£194
4% £1,056 +£302
5% £1,169 +£415
6% £1,289 +£535

 

If you’re among the estimated 15% of borrowers with a variable or a tracker mortgage, your monthly outgoings will almost certainly go up. The interest rate paid on tracker mortgages is usually anchored against the bank base rate plus a set percentage. For example, the current base rate of 2.25%, plus 1%, would mean you’d be paying 3.25% interest right now. 

Can I still get a fixed-rate mortgage deal now?

Some lenders have withdrawn their fixed-rate products, while others have increased their prices in response to the rapidly changing costs of their funding. But it’s definitely worth finding out what your options are. 

If you’re on a tracker or a variable mortgage, you could shop around to see if you can find a cheaper option with a fixed-rate mortgage. However, you might have to pay an early repayment charge first. You could speak to a qualified mortgage broker or adviser if you’re unsure which options would be best for your individual circumstances. 

I’m on a fixed rate, what are my options when my deal ends?

If your fixed-rate deal is due to end within the next six months, you could see what your options are for locking in a deal now. 

Many lenders will allow existing customers to apply for new deals up to six months before their current rate ends without having to pay an early repayment charge. This is often called ‘product transfer’ or ‘switching’. This is a relatively easy process as you’re staying with your existing lender, so you won’t need a solicitor or a property valuation, and there’s no need to prove your income. 

If you’re looking to move lenders – whether you’re remortgaging or moving home – you may want to start well before your fixed-rate deal ends, as the application process can take several months or more. 

There is so much fluctuation in the mortgage market right now, you might want to look at what your lender has to offer or speak to a mortgage broker to find out which deals are available to you. 

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Property 115% more likely to sell in April

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Property 115% more likely to sell in April

The chance of a vendor selling a property is at its highest level for a decade, research claims.

The continuing imbalance between supply and demand meant that properties sold faster and more easily in April.

Propertymark’s latest member data showed that while the average percentage of stock sold in April over the past 10 years is 20%, it hit 43% this year – a 115% rise.

The trade body’s Housing Market Report found there were nine sales agreed on average per member branch in April compared to the December low of only five.

This figure is lower than the peak of 14 sales per branch during the stamp duty holiday of 2020–21.

However, Propertymark said it is in line with the long-term average for April of eight sales per member branch.

The average number of properties for sale per member branch remained low in April at 20, while demand remained high at 100 house hunters per branch.

This contributed to 39% of respondents stating that most sales agreed in April were above asking price, according to the report.

Nathan Emerson, chief executive of Propertymark, said: “With fewer properties available to buy, it wouldn’t be illogical to assume that estate agents would be witnessing less sales being agreed.

“However, the number of sales agreed remains steady when compared with long term trends and agents report that sellers were 115% more likely to sell their home in April.

“This is due to the desire to buy a home remaining strong, and although the heights of prices being achieved may well start to cool, this trend is unlikely to change by a great deal.”

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Bedfordshire Market Update April 2022

Bedfordshire House Prices- Map

Bedfordshire Market Update April 2022

An overview of the property market in Bedfordshire

 

Properties in Bedfordshire had an overall average price of £340,159 over the last year. The majority of sales in Bedfordshire during the last year were semi-detached properties, selling for an average price of £326,370. Terraced properties sold for an average of £269,621, with detached properties fetching £501,950. Overall, sold prices in Bedfordshire over the last year were similar to the previous year and 8% up on the 2019 peak of £314,356.

This unprecedented price level is being stoked by the greatest imbalance between buyer demand and the number of properties available for sale that we have ever measured at this time of year. This is the strongest spring sellers’ market that we have ever seen in several metrics. Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data comments: “There’s a hat-trick of reasons for home-owners to follow the normal trend and make it their goal to sell this spring. Firstly, the potential to achieve a record price for their property.

“Secondly, the imbalance between high buyer demand compared to low available property supply is the greatest that we have ever seen for the start of a spring market, meaning that the chance of being able to pick and choose between several suitable buyers is strong. Thirdly, the proportion of properties finding a buyer within the first week is also at an all-time high for this time of year, so sellers with an appropriately priced and well-presented property can expect a shorter marketing period than the norm. Those who weren’t ready to take advantage of last year’s rush now have another chance to get on the market while these conditions last.”

There are now more than twice as many buyers as sellers active in the market, which is the biggest mismatch between supply and demand that we have ever recorded at this time of year. The speed of the market is further demonstrated by the fact that are there more than one in five (22 per cent) deals being agreed on Rightmove within the first week of being marketed.

This is double the figure for the same period in the more normal market of 2019. Almost half, 47 per cent, are having a sale agreed within the first fortnight, another indicator of high demand and the likelihood of finding a buyer quickly. While these unprecedented numbers are helping to drive prices to new records, they do also show that there are a number of properties that will remain on the market after this time and that may benefit from a price reduction.

BEDFORDSHIRE ENGLAND & WALES
£334,000 – Average Property Price £342,000 – Average Property Price
2% – Average Percentage Change 5% – Average Percentage Change
 £6,700 – Average Percentage Change £15,800 – Average Percentage Change

 

 

PROPERTY TYPE OTM SSTC % SSTC AVAILABLE % AVAILABLE
ALL 7,524 5,218 69.35% 2,306 30.64%
HOUSES 5,235 3,841 73.37% 1,394 26.62%
FLATS 1,699 987 58.09% 712 41.90%
BUNGALOWS 476 323 67.85% 153 32.14%
LAND 67 45 67016% 22 28.20%
COMMERCIAL PROPERTY 177 118 54.12% 89 32.83%

 

Bedfordshire-property-sales-share-by-price-range
Bedfordshire-property-sales-share-by-price-range

Bedfordshire house prices

 

Bedfordshire-real-house-prices

Bedfordshire-real-house-pricesCOMMENT

The Bedfordshire property market, whilst not the most active in the country, seems to be benefiting from sustained growth, with very little evidence that this will change. This is very good for confidence, which adds to the sustainability of the growth.

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Best ever spring market for vendors as prices hit new record

property market

There’s been a remarkable 1.7 per cent increase in the average asking price of homes coming to the market in just one month, according to Rightmove.

The national average is now £354,564 after the largest March increase for 18 years; in addition, the annual price growth rate of 10.4 per cent is the highest that Rightmove has recorded in any month since June 2014.

“This unprecedented price level is being stoked by the greatest imbalance between buyer demand and the number of properties available for sale that we have ever measured at this time of year. This is the strongest spring sellers’ market that we have ever seen in several metrics” says the portal in its latest snapshot, published this morning.

There are now more than twice as many buyers as sellers active in the market, which is the biggest mismatch between supply and demand that Rightmove has ever recorded at this time of year.

The speed of the market is further demonstrated by the fact that are there more than one in five deals being agreed on Rightmove within the first week of being marketed. This is double the figure for the same period in the more normal market of 2019.

Almost half are having a sale agreed within the first fortnight, another indicator of high demand and the likelihood of finding a buyer quickly.

“While these unprecedented numbers are helping to drive prices to new records, they do also show that there are a number of properties that will remain on the market after this time and that may benefit from a price reduction” cautions the portal.

 The largest monthly price rise has been recorded in the “top of the ladder” sector, predominantly comprising four bedroom or more properties.

This has seen a 3.8 per cent jump due to high demand and the greatest scarcity of supply, though encouragingly for prospective buyers in this sector 12 per cent more properties have come to market in the last month compared to the same period a year ago.

However it’s the more mass-market “second-stepper” sector that’s selling fastest, with just over half of these homes finding a buyer within the first two weeks of marketing.

Rightmove property data director Tim Bannister says: “Those who weren’t ready to take advantage of last year’s rush now have another chance to get on the market while these conditions last. Many of those who are selling in this record-breaking market obviously also face the prospect of buying again in the same market, and being in fierce competition against other buyers.

“Having a buyer for your own property, subject to contract, puts those who are buying again in a powerful position compared to buyers who have yet to sell, and agents report that these ‘power buyers’ are more likely to get the property that they want and negotiate the best deal on price.”

Bannister continues: “Agents report that despite the current high demand, a price reduction is often needed if a property has not found a buyer within the first two weeks.

“It could be that the property is too niche and has to wait for the right buyer with those specific requirements to come along, but more often it’s due to prospective buyers being underwhelmed by a seller looking for an over-optimistic asking price compared to other properties that are being snapped up at record speed. Acting quickly on a price reduction before the property goes stale can help to get sellers back on track for a speedier sale.”

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Rise in buyer interest for renovation projects

Trevor Square Knightsbridge geograph 4338316

Buying agency Stacks Property Search is reporting g rising buyer demand for wrecks requiring significant levels of renovation.

The agency says that in the current market, where demand for property outstrips supply, more buyers struggling to find what they want, are instead seeking big refurbishment projects or a knock-down and rebuild.

James Law of Stacks says: “Property prices have increased significantly over the course of the pandemic, in some areas by as much as 30 per cent and when buyers do find something they want they’re shocked by the price.

“For example, reluctant to spend £1.2m on something that’s ready to move into that would have cost under £1m two years ago, they start seeking something for £800,000 that needs substantial work.

“The harsh reality is that this strategy is not a certainty. The cost of builders and building supplies have increased by as much as property, and everything is difficult to come by.

“Quotes are coming in at eye-watering levels, and there’s no guarantee that the price will be fixed over the course of the project as prices continue to rise due to a range of factors – Brexit, the pandemic, and energy prices to name the headliners.

“Add to that the fact that builders’ lead times are double or three times what they were two years ago, and the best ones are booked out for months or sometimes years in advance.”

His Stacks colleague Ed Jephson adds: “Buyers are constantly looking for higher quality, and sometimes the only way to achieve this is to do it yourself. Future-proofing from an eco point of view is becoming more important, and buyers are increasingly aware of running costs.

“Buying an old property that is perfect aesthetically but requires retro-fitting makes little sense, so in this respect taking on a project is more sensible in the long term.”

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Rightmove pushing reluctant sellers to come to market within weeks

rightmove

The number one portal is making a big marketing and research push to get reluctant owners to put up the For Sale boards next month.

It says its own research shows that March is the strongest month of the year to sell a home, having the highest number of buyer enquiries per property for sale on average over the last five years.

While new listings are also highest in March, strong demand from buyers in the month means March sees the highest competition for the homes available on average.

It says data currently suggests a build up of momentum as March nears: for example listings are up 11 per cent in the last three weeks compared to the same period last year, while buyer demand is up 32 per cent over the last three weeks compared to the same time last year.

Home-valuation requests to estate agents are up 27 per cent since the start of the year compared to the start of last year, while searches for gardens have jumped 70 per cent in two years, as more people continue to look for outdoor space.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, comments: “For any sellers who might be conscious of coming to market at a time when the number of new listings has traditionally been high, the data shows us that the level of demand in March means sellers are likely to met with multiple potential buyers competing for their home.

“Those thinking of selling are also likely to be aiming to buy a new property, and may be tempted to begin the search for their new home before listing their current one on the market.

“Due to the speed and competitiveness of the market, agents are reporting that it continues to be of high importance for those actively looking to become ‘power buyers’, to give themselves the best chance of securing their dream home.

“This means making sure they have their current property on the market or preferably sold subject to contract before beginning the search for their next home.

“This spring is certainly shaping up to be a busy one, with buyer demand, new listings coming to market for sale, and valuation requests to estate agents from future sellers all continuing to increase compared to last year.”