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Understanding Pressure on the Housing Market

Home ownership has always been an important milestone for a lot of people. It gives a sense of stability and it’s often seen as an investment for the future, but with the cost of living at an all time high, property rental prices rocketing, and the need for a substantial deposit, it can feel like owning a home is slipping further and further away for most.

Recently there has been a huge surge in property prices, with properties commonly achieving above the asking price. The reason for this seems to be a significant lack of properties on the market. This lack of housing stock then causes a knock on effect; the homes that would previously have been perfect for first time buyers are now more expensive with the average house price now being £299,249* which means a bigger deposit. With monthly rents at an all time high, saving the deposit that is likely double what your mortgage payments would be is not easy!

Source - https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-house-price-index-for-april-2022

The recent census showed that the population has grown by 6% in the last 10 years and the provision for new properties has not kept pace with this. It is thought this results in England requiring circa 300,000 new properties per year, but we have only achieved over 200,000 new properties for 5 years since the year 2000*. This unsatisfied demand will continue to have an impact on property prices.

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Although in certain areas you may see a lot of new developments popping up, it’s not as easy as it may seem to achieve planning permission. The UK’s strict planning regulations result in huge development costs even if a scheme is unsuccessful, these costs are then passed onto the consumer. When you couple this with a lack of development land, you’re looking at a very expensive final product along with greater risk for the developer.
Historically, low interest rates also tend to push up property prices. The lower the interest rates are, the more people are able to afford to borrow. It’s generally about supply and demand, when demand is high, supply tends to be low and then the prices quickly increase! Again, bad news if you’re a first time buyer or looking to scale up. Great if you’re considering downsizing as you’ll likely benefit financially and so do the estate agents!
Christine McLaughlin

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