We are currently experiencing a period of exceptionally high demand for houses in the UK – and with a shortage of homes available, this has pushed up prices and made it the fastest-moving housing market in five years.
According to the latest Zoopla House Price Index, house prices have soared by more than £10,000 since March 2020 and the scramble for homes is only slightly easing.
This increase has resulted in the sharpest rise in house prices since October 2016 with the average home costing £229,300 in May. This has pushed 1.8 million properties into a higher stamp duty bracket. What’s more, high demand for homes with more space has meant that the average time to sell a property is just 22 days – almost half the number of days in May 2019.
House prices are up by 3% in Glasgow and 2.9% in Edinburgh – the UK average was 4.7% – last year this was 2.2%. House prices are rising fastest in the most affordable markets.
The demand is being driven by a combination of a re-evaluation of priorities and people wanting more inside and outside space. In addition, there is greater mortgage availability for first-time buyers with the re-introduction of 90% and 95% mortgages after the widespread withdrawal of these mortgage products last summer.
Unfortunately, these first time buyers are flocking to the housing market without having a home to sell, meaning that stock levels aren’t being replenished.
With competition for the homes that are available exceptionally high, many people are missing out. That’s why it’s important to be in a strong position to make an offer – this includes having a mortgage offer in place, your deposit easily accessible with proof of its origin, your credit score in good order and all paperwork such as tax returns and payslips available.
If you’re looking to sell – now is a great time to maximise your sale price and you’ll be in a particularly strong position if you don’t have a property to sell.