10 April, 2019
Have you been thinking about getting on that first rung of the ladder, upsizing or investing in a buy-to-let? Well, here’s why we think that it makes sense to make a move this spring.
Calling all first-time buyers
The latest statistics compiled by Zoopla show that prices for a typical starter home in this area have been falling, but this has now stabilised. For example, the average price of a flat in the Wokingham area has dropped by over 5 % in the last 6 months, but we are starting to see a slowdown in this trend. If you have been trying to get the timing right for that all important first purchase, then now could be as good as any.
Spring is notoriously a busy time for the property market, with many people placing their home on the market with the aim of moving over the summer. This gives you the best chance of finding your ideal property and could put you in the driving seat when it comes to negotiating price.
With interest rates at historically low levels, there will never be a better time to take out your first mortgage, with more options than ever for first-time buyers. Now available to first-time buyers, mainly for pre-owned properties, are 95% mortgages, where (if you meet the lending criteria) you can get on the ladder by putting down just a 5% deposit.
If you want to make 2019 the year you become a homeowner we’ll be happy to help you every step of the way. View a selection of our fantastic homesand contact us on Wokingham 0118 977 6776 or Crowthorne 01344 779 999 for more information or to arrange some viewings.
Should I buy an investment property?
If you are thinking of investing in a buy-to-let, then alongside our first-time buyers, you will also be keeping a sharp eye on local pricing trends in the hope of securing the right property at the right time.
As previously mentioned, prices have fallen in Wokingham and the surrounding area for flats, terraced houses and semi-detached homes – the type that make for popular investment properties – and now appear to be levelling out.
Increasing competition amongst buy-to-let mortgage lenders is keeping rates at rock bottom levels, with better than ever 2 or 5 year fixes available. There are buy-to-let mortgages now on offer for no fee and some with up to £1,000 cashback.
The government is introducing a new 20% tax credit to offset decreasing levels of tax relief on mortgages and would-be landlords can have confidence that rents are continuing to go up, driven by local demand. RICS recently estimated that rents will go up 15% over the next 5 years.
Investing in bricks and mortar can still make for a great long-term investment, especially when you consider returns on savings remain low and political uncertainty is causing volatility with stocks and shares.
Looking for a larger home?
The current market provides an opportune moment to upsize, especially if you are not expecting to move again for several years.
While you may not achieve your aspirational price for your property in the current climate, you are likely to get a greater reduction on the house you are buying. For example, if you own a property worth £400,000 and accept a 10 per cent reduction (£40,000) but then also receive 10% discount on a home valued at £700,000 (£70,000) — you are £30,000 better off.
If you are selling your home through Michael Hardy, our experienced team can negotiate on your behalf in order to help you achieve the best price possible for your onward purchase.
There are some other considerations when selling in a slower market. We have found that although there may be less people looking to move, those booking viewings do tend to be more serious buyers rather than window shoppers. Which hopefully means you can avoid unnecessary tidy-ups for viewings from less committed buyers!
Properties are generally put on the market in challenging times by motivated sellers which could also work in your favour when you come to negotiate your onward purchase. Remember as part of the service we are always happy to help negotiate on your behalf.
Once the Brexit negotiations are resolved, we expect the housing market to pick up, resulting in prices starting to go in an upward trajectory but it will take time. A recent report by Which predicts average house prices in the South East to remain static this year, with 2% growth expected in 2020, and higher levels in 2021/22.
With the Bank of England signalling that interest rates could rise as soon as May, it might just be the ideal time to secure that property you’ve been dreaming of and lock down an unbeatable mortgage deal!
View our current selection of properties or call us on Wokingham 0118 977 6776 or Crowthorne 01344 779 999 to discuss your requirements.