Recent statistics show that the UK property market in 2021 is booming. Zoopla predicts that the property market in 2021 is on course to be the busiest for 14 years. The Office for National Statistics said the average house prices in the UK in March had increased by 10.2% in a year, up from 9.2% in February. This is the highest annual growth rate since August 2007.
What factors have driven this growth? In the March budget, the government extended the stamp duty holiday until June and introduced the new mortgage guarantee scheme to boost the property market after a year impacted by the pandemic. If you’d like to learn more about how the budget has impacted the property market, read our blog post.
The pandemic also caused an increase in homeowners moving out of city centres to suburban areas, due to the desire for more workspace and outdoor areas. As businesses begin to occupy their offices again, city centres may see residents returning to inner-city life.
With the UK property market at a significant high and fierce demand for houses, there’s a lot of competition for buyers. Prices are high and you have to be confident in your decision to buy. We’ve put together 5 top tips to help buyers in a busy property market.
- Work with experts
Real estate agents, mortgage advisors, property surveyors and valuers – experts are your biggest asset during the buying process. Having best practice advice will give you confidence in your decision making. They will support you by answering any of your questions, ensuring you get a fair price, and have the necessary information and documentation.You’ll have a much smoother buying process with the right professionals on board who understand your needs. It’s important to communicate with your advisors to make sure you’re all on the same page and are up to date on any changes to the market or your requirements.
- Get a property valuation or survey
Doing your due diligence will help you be sure that you’re getting a fair and accurate price, and understand the condition of the property you’re buying. Depending on the property information you want to know, you can get a mortgage or private valuation, building survey or a homebuyer report, which all provide different details on the property.The homebuyer report includes the practical limits of the type of property and the scope of its coverage. The surveyor will give you their professional opinion on the features of the property that might impact the value and future resale.A building survey is a very detailed report showing the property’s construction and condition. It can be carried out on the majority of residential buildings and older or untraditional properties. You can find out more about mortgage valuations and other types of surveys in our blog post.
- Know what you can afford
House prices fluctuate, especially when you’re competing with other buyers making offers on the same property as you are. It’s crucial to know your budget, and the highest you would be prepared to pay. With so much competition on the market, sellers might not need to negotiate their asking price, and some buyers may make an offer above the asking price.You could speak to a financial advisor and work with your mortgage lender to get a preapproved mortgage. This may put you in a better position if you have your financials in place and ready to go, which is an attractive quality to sellers.
- Understand the local market
It’s beneficial to understand more about the local market you’re wanting to buy into. Find out what homes in the area are selling for based on the property type you’re interested in. You can work with an expert to understand the history of the local market and whether current property prices are high, low, or average.This will help you understand whether the properties in the area can accommodate your needs. Whether it’s great schools, green spaces, large bedrooms or sunlight, you can decide what’s achievable for property types in the area.
- Be prepared to be flexible
While you’ll have a number of non-negotiables and a budget, it can pay off to be flexible in regards to timelines and expectations. In such a busy property market, it’s likely you’ll have to wait longer than usual for paperwork and payments to go through.You may have to be flexible on finding the right property, securing a mortgage, getting surveys and valuations, putting in an offer, closing the deal or agreeing to a closing date with the seller. Not rushing the process, and getting the right information you need before making important decisions will pay off in the long run.Buying a home in a busy market can feel like a long process. With the right people, information and financials in place, you’ll be in a strong position to buy the property you have your eyes on.
London’s Surveyors & Valuers has a team of dedicated residential surveyors and valuers who can support your buying process. We can provide bespoke mortgage or private valuations, building surveys and homebuyer reports to meet your needs. Contact us to discuss your residential property requirements.