Starting the year

After a strong start to the year, house prices are forecast to stabilise over the coming months, in line with all COVID-19 restrictions being lifted by the end of March, hopefully sooner and with Spring fast approaching which is normally fantasied as the ‘Hot’ time of the year for sales within the property market. We have seen house prices increase by 0.8% in January, making this the strongest start to the year since 2006 and Mortgage approvals were also slightly ahead of their pre-pandemic average according to the Bank of England.

In February we saw Rightmove has said the price rise between January and February is the highest for 20 years and we saw Home buyers see asking prices soar by nearly £8,000.

Help to Buy
With 2021 proving to be a sellers’ market, we have become part of the Help to Buy scheme to allow First Time Buyers more of an opportunity to get onto the property ladder. The Help to Buy scheme, is a government scheme in the United Kingdom for New Build property’s and Developments, that aims to help first time buyers, It was announced in Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s 2013 budget speech, and was described as “the biggest government intervention in the housing market since the Right to Buy scheme” of the 1980s.

Mortgages in England
Mortgage approvals for house purchase have continued to run slightly above pre-pandemic levels, despite the surge in activity in 2021 as a result of the stamp duty holiday, which encouraged buyers to bring forward their transactions to avoid additional tax. Even though Mortgage interest rates are still low in a historical context and are unlikely to immediately impact existing home-owners on fixed-rate mortgages. According to Halifax’s latest house price index, growth in the property market is the strongest it’s been since 2016. The average cost of a property also tipped over £245,000 for the first time. Prices of the average home increased by 1.7% in February to more than £260,000 for the first time, said the building society Nationwide, accelerating the pace of growth from 11.2% in January. The price of a typical home is about a fifth higher than it was in February 2020, shortly before the coronavirus lockdowns started in the UK.

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