House Prices: When to Reduce and When to Expect Higher Offers – our Comments

News about rising house prices must be giving sellers a lot of confidence right now, with pretty much every house price index going showing a steady increase, with record spikes in many areas of the UK, since July.

But what do rising house prices really mean for you if you’re selling? Can you automatically expect to sell for more now that demand for housing is outstripping supply? Recent research suggests that all is not quite so simple.

The estate agent mantra of ‘location, location, location’ has never been truer, and it’s this key fact that homeowners wanting to sell need to bear in mind right now. Yes, demand is going through the roof, but you need to be paying attention to where that’s happening, and what type of properties are scooping up the interest.

The Rightmove data is clear: Northern regions including Yorkshire & the Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, North East, North West and Scotland areas seeing the biggest price increases, in a somewhat dramatic u-turn from the surge of interest in southern and south-western regions earlier in the summer.

This is because northern areas and the Midlands offer great value for money. Remember: the property boom is driven by second-steppers looking for larger homes than they would find for the same price in their current (typically urban) location. Large properties at the upper end of the UK house price spectrum are seeing the largest increases in interest. Hugh Wade-Jones, managing director of Enness Global Mortgages, commented:

‘It’s fair to say that while the reduction in stamp duty has had a significant impact on buyer demand, it’s the top-end of the market that continues to drive activity with a massive uplift in demand for homes at the highest price thresholds.  

‘This trend has, of course, been fuelled by the current pandemic and the possibility of a second lockdown, with buyers rushing to secure bigger homes and more outdoor space.

‘While doing so, buyers at the top end of the market have also continued to secure excellent mortgage rates, despite some lenders restricting borrowing from the average home buyer. This has ensured that demand at this tier of the market remains robust and will continue to do so going forward.’