While 2020 introduced us to something we could only believe in a movie and now cannot bear to hear more about; COVID. The year the world stood still!
Then 2021 brought continuous uncertainty, but not for the property market. Everyone feared the worst which is one of the reasons why the Stamp Duty holiday was introduced.
Estate agents at Pick My Pad couldn’t get properties quick enough for the demand. All properties we put on the market were sold over the asking price by some 17%. These prices were drive-by demand from first-time buyers. However, saying that we noticed investors paying higher prices than would be expected of an investor in order to clinch the deal.
As we entered the Christmas period the only thing that slowed down was having the stock. Not even celebrations stopped the avid investor or determined first time buyer as we were still receiving calls and had requests for properties.
We are now in 2022 and the top subject other than COVID is how utilities are increasing to such an extent it is having an effect on whether first-time buyers can afford to purchase their dream home.
We know house prices have risen faster than salaries over the years which is making the housing market increasingly unaffordable for most and interest rates have increased which adds the expense to mortgages. This slows down the demand for property and can affect the overall market.
We believe the house prices will not continue to increase as they have but will remain stable for the duration of 2022, it has been suggested that between 0% to 2% is the considered level of fluctuation in prices according to Russell Galley, Managing Director at Halifax.
According to Rightmove, house prices are 7.6% up when compared to Jan 2021. The shortfall in houses and continues high demand may prove Russell’s theory to be incorrect as the year unfolds.
I think we can safely say the housing market has been a true phenomenon that has performed against all odds. Could the rise in utility bills be the next epidemic deterring first-time buyers? Or will it just delay their buying decisions!? Or alter their budget, affecting buying habits, which could ultimately have an effect on the overall market, over time.