Anyone who’s trying to get onto the UK housing ladder will know the struggle. The past two years have seen an exponential rise in housing prices across the board, with a 9.8% increase in one year alone and the average UK house price reaching a huge £278,000 in March 2022. That’s £24,000 higher than the previous year.
The UK housing market has undergone three years of growth, in which time we have seen the fastest rise in house prices in decades. So, what does 2023 hold? And is there light at the end of the tunnel for first time buyers?
Unfortunately, expert predictions are casting more bad news. The country’s biggest lender, Halifax and Barratt, warn of a ‘more challenging period’ as house prices continue to rise amidst increasing interest rates and the cost of living crisis. August 2022 saw another record high as the average price of a home hit an eyewatering £294,260, 0.4% higher than the previous month.
Now that the cost-of-living crisis has truly set in, first-time buyers are more cautious than ever. There is now a limit to which prospective buyers can afford to borrow, with inflation at a historic high and interest rates following suit.
However, some analysts expect house prices to plummet in the near future, with many building projects being abandoned due to the cost of materials.
It might all sound like doom and gloom for first-time and prospective buyers, but there are still ways to unlock the housing market and get your foot on the ladder. The most surefire way to buy a property these days is to buy it before it hits the market. Getting in early on properties will give you an advantage over other buyers and give you an edge.
The best ways to find out about these properties include getting estate agents on your side and building good relationships with them, sending leaflets around your dream area asking owners if they intend to sell, and approaching the absentee landlords of empty properties. Then, prepare your finances for a potential buy and consult with a trusted conveyancing solicitor so you get the best out of your purchase.
Finally, avoid being in a chain. Sellers are understandably more cautious about you successfully selling your own home before buying theirs. If you are able to remove yourself from a chain, it will make you a more attractive prospect for sellers.
There is still hope for potential buyers, even with the house price predictions above. However, these days you have to be more unconventional and creative!