If you’re considering moving house this year, if you’re currently house-hunting or thinking about selling a property, it’s worth doing your ‘home-work’ and knowing what’s happening in the market right now…
Looking back at the end of last year and Boxing Day, which is usually one of the busiest days for activity on the major portals. Historically, the end of the year is a quieter month for new homes coming to the market, so once the Christmas festivities are out of the way, we often see an increase in activity.
Rightmove Property expert, Tim Bannister, recently reported that “Boxing Day is traditionally the start of activity ramping up into January and the spring selling season after Christmas, as people return to their search or consider a New Year move. We’ve seen some promising activity and familiar patterns over the festive period this year, which are good signs for the year ahead.”
Signals are showing that buyers will have more choice in 2023 as Boxing Day 2022 saw a record number of houses coming to the market, almost 50% MORE than the previous year. This means that many homeowners were preparing in 2022 for a move this year. They wanted to get a ‘head-start’ on the New Year, New Home movers.
Over the past couple of years, the supply and demand for houses has been in the favour of sellers, with fewer homes for buyers to choose from, pushing prices to an all-time high.
However, with more choice currently available, this may mean that houses are on the market for slightly longer than before, as buyers have more choice and more time to ‘shop around.’ Rightmove’s Tim Bannister has commented, “After such frenetic market conditions over the last few years, this year’s calmer market will better suit measured movers who prefer to take their time to find the right property”.
Property prices in 2022 were at a record-high and although the forecast is that prices will fall by 2% (coming in-line with a pre-pandemic, calmer market), there are still plenty of buyers ready to launch their homes to the market this year.
If we compare the week of Christmas to the week of Boxing Day, there was a 20% increase in views of homes for sale on Rightmove.
“The jump in number of views of properties for sale pre- and post-Christmas is another good sign that the new choice available is getting a lot of attention from future buyers. After a pause for the festivities, those wanting to buy this year will be ready to get back to their plans and assess where they’d like to live and what they can afford”, says Tim.
Whilst the NATIONAL average house price is expected to reduce slightly, this could differ depending on where you live! Trends vary depending on the types of property on the market, the location’s desirability, and what buyers looking in that area can afford.
This means it’s more important than ever to employ the services of an expert estate agent in your area, with a proven track record of selling homes like your own and a mailing list of other potential buyers. It’s crucial to work with an agent who knows your area and its trends inside out, who can be trusted to guide you through the whole process of selling your home.
And, a good estate agent needs to be combined with good mortgage advice. Lenders have tightened their affordability criteria recently, to ensure people are still able to afford their mortgages, were their payments to increase.
But, right now, many of the deals mortgage lenders are currently offering, have already factored in the Bank of England’s recent interest rate rises, including the December rise to 3.5%, because this has been expected. This means that it is unlikely that last month’s rate rise will lead to an increase in the pricing of mortgages.
So, in summary, whilst it appears nationally that prices this year will, on average, come down by around 2% compared to the RECORD HIGHS of last year, local markets will have their own trends. There may be an increase in choice for buyers so houses may take a little longer to sell, but there are definite positives right now.
There are more people WANTING to move and so not only will you be able to find a buyer (who can get a mortgage with a lower rate than in previous months), but you will also have more choice of properties to purchase too.
So, the best way to secure your dream home, is to;
· Get yourself in the best position. When that property comes to the market, you need to know your affordability (speak to a mortgage advisor).
· Get ahead of the competition. If there will be more choice for homes this year, getting yours on the market first means you’re already one step ahead and most likely to get the better price. Working with a local, experienced estate agent will ensure you’re getting the best advice on price, strategy and timing.
· Get sold to put yourself in the strongest position to negotiate on your next home.
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