House prices are currently higher than ever before.
According to Rightmove, the average asking price reached an eye-watering £368,614 in May 2022. Add to that increasing mortgage rates and a cost of living crisis. And it’s no wonder why, as a prospective buyer, you’re getting cold feet.
The question on everyone’s mind…Is now really a good time to buy a house? Or should you wait for the market to cool a little?
At St. Helens Law, our team of conveyancing solicitors have excellent knowledge and experience of the UK housing market. And whether you’re a first-time buyer or looking to relocate, we believe the upcoming summer months could be a great time for you to take the leap.
3 reasons why summer 2022 is a good time to buy property
- Price rises are slowing down
It’s been a record-breaking couple of years for the property market. The pandemic led to a significant rise in demand, as people rushed to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday and the desire for larger properties (with an office and outdoor space) increased.
But now the country has returned to some sort of normality, demand is normalising too.
This doesn’t mean that prices are expected to fall any time soon. But from May 15th to June 11th, the asking price for UK homes increased by just 0.3%. As a notable decrease from May’s 2.1% gain, it’s a good (albeit tentative) sign that property price growth is finally starting to slow down.
In fact, the experts now predict that the annual rate of growth will drop from 9.7% (where it currently stands) to around 5% by the end of the year. Fantastic news for anyone ready to buy!
- Low mortgage rates are still available
Last month, the Bank of England voted to increase the base interest rate from 0.25% to 1.25% – and warned that further increases are likely towards the end of the year.
This will, inevitably, have a subsequent effect on mortgage rates. But at the moment, it is still possible to get a great deal – particularly if you have a substantial deposit to put down.
Various government incentives are also currently available to help first-time buyers, including help to buy equity loans, 95% mortgages and shared ownership schemes. These are unlikely to be around forever. And it’s worth keeping in mind, during tough economic times, banks often make it tougher for people to qualify for a mortgage.
For anyone considering buying a property in the near future, therefore, it may be a case of ‘strike while the iron is hot’ and secure a favourable and affordable mortgage rate whilst you can.
- There’s less competition
The best time of year to buy a house is when competition is low – and, typically, competition in the UK is at its lowest during the summer months.
You may find that fewer properties are up for sale at this time of year. But as most people are busy with their summer plans and holidays, demand is significantly lower. And as a result, sellers are often willing to accept a lower offer and you’re much less likely to get caught in a bidding war.
Whilst rival buyers are sunning themselves, you can take advantage of the housing market’s current price stabilisation – securing your dream home, without paying over the odds and with less risk of being gazumped at the last minute.