02 Aug 2022
Is Now A Good Time to Buy A House?
We’ve had, and continue to have, an eventful few years. Between a global pandemic and now the cost of living crisis, the prospect of owning a home may have taken a blow for some. However, it’s not all been doom and gloom either, as because of these issues, a helping hand in the form of a few schemes has actually given homeownership a temporary boost.
So, is now a good time to buy a house? Let’s investigate and find out…
How are House Prices Looking?
House prices are rising. Quite a bit. Nationwide Halifax and Rightmove publish the figures showing the growth of average house prices each month.
Unfortunately, as of 18th July 2022, Rightmove’s house price index shows a current average asking price of £369,968. This is a 0.4% increase from last month and a 9.3% increase from this time last year.
Interestingly enough, though London is the most expensive area in the UK at almost double the UK average, it is also the place with the slowest price growth. But this is probably because prices are high enough already, so that they don’t have as far to rise.
Whilst this is a record high, experts are expecting things to calm down in the second half of 2022 with the growth of prices predicted to slow. The cost of living crisis could eventually lead to many people selling their homes in favour of cheaper options, which will create a higher housing supply and lower prices. Whether this will happen remains to be seen.
Why Are House Prices So High?
Some of the responses to the pandemic which gave people a helping hand, have the added complication of causing a surge in demand.
This includes the stamp duty holiday which ended October 1st 2021 after 14 months, plus the 95% mortgage guarantee that was introduced in April 2021. The guarantee was offered by the government to encourage lenders to offer a 5% deposit, this scheme is set to end 31st December 2022, unless an extension is decided upon closer to the end date.
As more people are working from home, they are also competing with each other to buy homes with more space, so that they can set up home offices and quiet spaces to work away from other family members. This was dubbed as the “race for space” by Halifax, as people moved out of the city and to the countryside during the pandemic. However, this may be beginning to slow down.
Inflation, increasing interest rates, and energy price rises could also be an influencer for higher house prices.
Renting Versus Buying
Is it cheaper to buy or rent? Generally, monthly mortgage repayments can be lower than rent per month. This is ever the case due to the rising prices of rent, especially in big cities.
According to HomeLet, and as of June 2022, the latest rental data shows the average cost of rent in the UK to be around £1,113 per month. This is an increase of 0.9% from last month and 10.5% from the same time last year.
If you exclude London from the calculation, you get an average rent price of £936 per month.
Renting used to be a way to save up money in order to buy a house, but rising prices for both renting and buying has made it difficult. Many struggle to save enough for a house deposit because their rent is so high, leaving them stuck in limbo.
Given the choice between renting and buying, not only could buying be cheaper than rent, but you get to own a property at the end. So if you are able to choose, it’s the better option.
For more tips on saving up for a deposit, click here.
Is Now A Good Time To Buy A House?
It’s difficult to predict what house prices will be like in the future. The fact is that the best time to buy a house can be different for everyone. It all depends on your personal circumstances for now and the future.
If you’re currently in the midst of a big event like getting married or having a baby, you might decide to prioritise that for now as it may be too stressful to do everything. On the other side, now might be a good time to buy a house, because of those events.
Even though prices are high, you might still be able to find something to suit you, so speak to an online mortgage advisor for help. You may also be able to take advantage of the current schemes that are helping people to buy.
Best Time of Year to Buy a House
In general, is there a time of year to buy a house that’s better than others? You’ll want a time where there are more sellers but less competition when it comes to buying.
The two best times are just after New Year where house prices are usually at their lowest, or during summer when prices may stabilise and rival buyers are away on their holidays. Lower demand may also mean sellers will take a lower offer, and you won’t be as likely to get gazumped by another buyer making a higher offer.
Even during these better times, many things can affect the housing market, so keep aware of current news and trends as well as staying up to date on initiatives like last year’s stamp duty holiday that can serve as a boost.
We Can Help
If you need more advice about buying a house now, you can speak to a member of our team by calling 03300 58 60 58 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also start the process right away with our online form, we’ll be able to help you find the right mortgage for your circumstances.