Spring is the season of new beginnings; it is no surprise that it can also be a popular time for people to decide to move home. Yet it has been a rocky road to the housing market over the last few months, and therefore, we know you will be grateful for a bit of insight. Thankfully, Zoopla have released their latest house price index, which may help you make decisions on when is best for you to buy or sell your home.
Buyers are returning
Over the last few weeks we have seen buyers returning to the market and new sales are being agreed in Tunbridge Wells, Crowborough and Forest Row, which is wonderful news. This reflects what is happening nationally: that is, seeing the demand for homes at the highest level since the fallout from the mini-budget last October. Although demand is 16% higher than the same time in 2019, house prices are still 1% lower than they were in October 2022. That being said, overall the housing market is doing better than the doom and gloom predicted for this year, and we are seeing sales starting to pick up.
Choice has been a big issue for buyers over the last year, with the number of properties on the market being low. According to Zoopla, ‘There are now 65% more homes available for sale than there were this time last year.’ More homes means that buyers have more options, but buyers are looking for value for money due to reduced buying power caused by the current mortgage rates. House prices in general are slowly coming down, their House Price Index shows, ’The national average house price has now dropped £1,100 from £260,800 in February to £259,700 in March.’
If you have been following the local property market, you may have seen yourself that homes are moving. The number of estate agent signs that state ‘SOLD – Subject to contract’ is an important indicator of a healthy market. Yes, sales agreed are lower than this time last year, by 16%, but they are 11% higher than they were in 2019. What is important in this market is ensuring that your home is priced to match what buyers are prepared to pay.
One thing you must bear in mind is the time it is taking for a home to sell. Zoopla state that ‘from being first listed to going under offer – the average home is now taking 15 days longer to sell than in spring 2022, when we were in a red hot housing market. … New sales agreed, subject to contract, can take 2 to 6 months to turn into a completed sale, when the buyer gets the keys and moves in. Some deals will fall through during this period and often homes are resold to another buyer.’
When it comes to the proportion of homes across the UK that are selling, there has been a clear shift to the cheapest 40% of the market, state Zoopla, with this sector of the market agreeing 5% more sales. This is in complete contrast to the top 40% of high-end homes that have seen a 4% drop in agreed sales. What this data shows us is that those homeowners who are looking to upsize are in a favourable position due to more choice of potential new homes.
The rental market has also had its part to play with the current housing market trends; Zoopla’s research shows that the ‘rapid 11% rise in rental rates in the last year is continuing to support demand from first time buyers, who accounted for 1 in 3 sales last year.’
Are you looking to move?
If you are looking to move in Tunbridge Wells, Crowborough, Forest Row or surrounding areas, whether you’re a first-time buyer, second-stepper or seller, we are here to provide you with clear and constructive advice to help you make the right decision for your future. Give our team a call today on 01892 5151 88.
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