Latest data from one major lender Halifax, released this morning, suggests the average annual rate of UK house price growth reached over seven percent last month, when compared with the same period in 2019. The report also indicates the average UK house price rose from £245,889 in August to £249,870 in September, meaning that many homeowners will have seen their property potentially increase in value by a few thousand pounds in a matter of weeks.
As Russell Galley, Managing Director of the Halifax cautioned: “It is highly unlikely that the housing market will continue to remain immune to the economic impact of the pandemic.”
Commenting on today’s figures, Russell continued: “Few would dispute that the performance of the housing market has been extremely strong since lockdown restrictions began to ease in May.
“Across the last three months, we have received more mortgage applications from both first time buyers and home movers than any time since 2008.”
Huge Wade-Jones, Managing Director of high net worth mortgage broker Enness Global Mortgages also reflects a currently positive picture, and observed: “Homebuyers continue to take advantage of great mortgage rates where they can and this is allowing them to buy bigger and better with more space both indoors and out.
“Naturally, these homes command a higher price tag and this is helping to contribute to a much more buoyant rate of house price growth.”
In practical terms then, what does all of this mean for those who are currently aiming to buy and sell in the next few months?
Frankly, it’s all about timing. If you’re able to sell your current property, there is every chance you could be ‘cashing in’ at the top of the market. The flip side of this is, of course, that the same is true for buyers too. Although purchasing a property now will help you save money on the Stamp Duty payable, the same home may be cheaper after next March when demand is likely to cool down.
This all boils down to looking at the numbers very, very carefully and weighing up if that larger garden, home office or rural location is really worth the premium you’re likely to pay at the moment, or if you can hold off for a few months when buyers may have more negotiating power.