Over the last couple of years, the housing market has been thriving and stronger than ever, but there have been reports in recent months that this may soon change.
As interest rates rise, there have been concerns that property prices might slow or even reduce.
After the stamp duty holiday introduced by Rishi Sunak sparked a house buying frenzy at a time of low interest rates in a market with a real shortage of available properties, that scheme has ended and interest rates have risen. As a result, there are fears that the growth in property prices will slow, or maybe even fall.
According to The Guardian, Rightmove is expecting that the annual rate of house price growth will reduce dramatically by almost half, from 9.7% to 5% by the end of 2022.
So is now the time to buy or sell a home, or is it better to hold on?
Should I hold off moving house for now?
While there may be uncertainty, the good news is that this shouldn’t put you off buying or selling a property
Although the market is uncertain, the EY Item Club – an economic forecasting group – has predicted that house prices will continuously grow and a crash is unlikely.
In fact, they estimate that a typical UK home will end the year worth approximately £52,000 more than it was before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
They also predict that prices will end this year 8% higher than at the end of 2021, and they’ll continue to rise at a slower rate throughout 2023.
By the end of the year, EY predicts that the average home in the UK will sell for £283,000 – 23% higher than the pre-pandemic average in 2020 of just £231,000.
If those predictions pan out, then there’s no reason not to move home now or in the coming months.
Prices are still set to rise, but delays may happen
While a slump in property prices is unlikely, the biggest complication to be aware of is just how long it’s taking for housing purchases to complete.
Currently, it’s taking an average of 150 days to complete a purchase after agreeing a sale – 50 days more than in 2019. Rightmove advises that anyone looking to buy or sell their property needs to get on the market in the next few weeks, if they are wanting to move before Christmas.
That being said, current conditions appear to be tougher for renters than it is for homeowners. New rental contracts have risen by 10.6% in the past year according to The Centre of Economics and Business Research. It was even higher in London; rising by a steep 15.7%.
With this in mind, our advice to you is to simply be prepared, and allow plenty of time if you’re looking to move house. The more time you have, the less chance that moving home will become a stressful process!
Ballards can help to put your mind at ease
It can be difficult to understand what to do and when during the moving process, but we can help to guide you through the practical considerations when moving house.
It’s usually best to contact us after you have accepted an offer on your current place, when you know if you are moving directly to your new home, temporary accommodation or into our storage facility. We will then arrange a pre-move survey; this is mostly done in person during a home visit, although we do offer video surveys if that is more appropriate for you.
Following your pre-move survey, we will provide you with a written, detailed, fixed price quotation.
When you have received your quote, it is then a waiting game for your legal team to get you to the point of exchanging contracts. Exchanging means that all parties in your chain are legally committing to the sale and purchases of the properties.
During the exchange of contracts, you will have the chance to set your completion day – we’d recommend keeping in touch with our team throughout to ensure your dates are available. When you exchange, you can then book us in with confidence, knowing your date is fully fixed.
Although most of our clients focus on completion day, we think that exchange is the pinnacle part of the process – this represents the legal confirmation that your move is happening.
In our experience, it’s usually best to have as long a gap as possible between exchange and completion; around 10 working days seems to be a good average if you can.
On completion day, you will have a legal obligation to provide vacant possession of the house you are selling at some point between 12 noon and 2pm. You’ll then tend to gain access to your new place between 2pm-3pm.
It is within this small window of time that all of your worldly goods need to be loaded on a vehicle(s). This is why it’s not generally appropriate to use a van to move house – when travelling a short distance, people may think they can do a series of ‘runs’ using a small van. In short, it’s just not possible!
Two things move on completion day – your money and the contents of your home. Your solicitor will take care of moving your money and we will take care of moving the contents of your home.
Worried you might forget something? You can also download our free guide to help manage your move. Here, we talk you through the 7 steps to follow to make sure your move is as stress free and enjoyable as possible.