By Nick Taylor, of Hadley Taylor
September has seen a significant increase both in the number of properties we have on our books and in buyer activity. With interest rates so low and with house prices at the bottom of the curve there hasn’t been a better time for first time buyers to get on the property ladder for several years. Those moving up-market haven’t had it so good for years either with the differential between their selling price and buying price having been considerably reduced in recent months.
So what about house price inflation? The media like to spin a line about it but how real is it? Well let’s first look at the broader picture during the next
12 months. In 2010 there will be a general election. The bookies firm favourites are the Conservatives and seeing as the bookies have never lost money on a UK general election let’s assume that David Cameron will be installed at number 10 next June. Only then will the full scale of the mountain we have to climb be revealed. Taxes will have to rise; public spending will have to fall. Recovery and a return to full employment will be several years in the making. The same can be said for the property market. Yes the worst is over, yes prices have stabilised, and yes we can expect some house price inflation. But anyone expecting more than modest single digit growth in house prices is ignoring the blindingly obvious state of the nation.
So don’t delay selling, assuming your house will be worth much more in a couple of years time. The truth is it might be worth a little more but nothing to get excited about. Don’t delay selling, assuming that the Conservatives will abolish home information packs. There is no doubt that the cost of the packs has deterred some sellers from placing their houses on the market. Although Cameron has pledged to abolish this rather odious piece of legislation, in practice new governments are always reluctant to reverse the mistakes of previous administrations and besides the Conservatives will be rather too focussed on emergency austerity measures to pay too much attention to pre-election pledges. So expect HIP’s to go or to change format, but don’t hold your breath, it could take until the end of the first term for them to disappear altogether.
What with vat due to return to 17.5% and the entry level for stamp duty due to return to £150,000 at the end of the year, the next three months would appear to be a much welcomed window of opportunity for both buyers and sellers.
So don’t be shy, the property market is hungry for homes of any
type that are properly priced and located in good residential areas. Picking an estate agent should be easier too because there are fewer of us!
*Nick’s on 01603 250248.