February 2015 Market Review

10th March 2015

We find ourselves in interesting times! With almost zero inflation, falling unemployment, a strong pound and continued record low interest rates, creating an apparent platform for good times ahead for the property market and there is certainly nothing to worry about this time around. We’€™ve pulled ourselves out of recession spectacularly.

But, as ever, a word of caution. We have an election this year, although frankly there don’€™t seem to be too many contentious issues between the parties that are likely to have an adverse effect on the property market. However there are other issues as well, such as the Euro crisis, concerns about extremist terrorism on our doorstep and now Russia testing Europe’€™s military responses. Fortunately the UK has proven to be exceptionally resilient to these things in the past and property here remains one of the most stable, reliable and secure of investments.

So if you’€™re thinking of selling, we’€™d advice doing it sooner rather than later this year. So many people wait until the spring to do so, only to find that they have more competition which could take the edge off the price achieved. By selling before the spring rush you’€™re also likely to put yourself in a strong position as a buyer ahead of the market.

Whatever your plans, here’€™s an overview of the latest figures: according to HM Land Registry, the average house price rose almost 1% last month, suggesting an annual rise of 6.7% and currently standing at £179,492.

Rightmove’€™s average asking price stands at about £100,000 more than this but its important to look at the trend here, not the price, which is 2.1% higher than last month and 6.6% higher than this time last year . It’€™s interesting to note that the time on market is eight days longer than it was last month, now standing at 87 days – about 12 weeks but you should allow double this time if you want to track a sale right the way through to the day of completion this currently stands at just over 5 months.

The value of new mortgage approvals confirmed has also fallen according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders – this time by 14% from the previous month (which also fell, by 9%) although this could be explained by a settling down period following a run first time buyers taking advantage of the Government’€™s Help to Buy scheme.

Finally, interest rates. With the Bank of England’€™s base rate remaining firmly at just 0.5% for over 5 years now and with no immediate prospect of a rise, there has never been a cheaper time to take out a mortgage, although remember that if it’€™s good now it can’€™t really get any better so it might be a good idea to lock into a low fixed rate now if you can. According to the Mortgage Advice Bureau the average two ‘€“year variable rate 75% loan to value ratio mortgage is now 40% cheaper than it was a year ago!

As ever, should you require any help in understanding how movements in the property market might affect you or your property please feel free to contact us for a free market appraisal on 01444 254400 or 01444 440400

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