Deciding whether to buy or sell a property is always a difficult decision, but with rising household bills, a cost-of-living crisis, and higher interest rates leading to increased mortgage costs, many people are finding the decision an increasingly difficult one to make.
One of the most attractive pulls for buying come the New Year is the reduction in house prices. According to figures produced by Rightmove, the average asking price of UK property has fallen 2.1% month on month. For the first time in over ten years, the UK is experiencing increasing instability in the housing market. Low market competition driven by the current economic climate is leading sellers to accept offers below listing value. The situation does not look set to change in the short term, with the housing market looking generally expected to slow down over the next two years.
Another draw for prospective property purchasers is the Stamp Duty Land Tax reduction announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn budget. This is due to remain in place until March 2025. The changes announced mean home buyers start paying Stamp Duty at £250,000 rather than at £125,000 as was previously the case. This has been further revised for first time buyers where Stamp Duty will become payable at £425,000, so long as the property you purchase is below £625,000.
For sellers, the market volatility is understandably of increasing concern. Knight Frank forecasts predict house prices will decline by 5% in 2023, and the same amount in 2024. Analysts at Capital Economics predict house prices will fall by a total of 12% by mid-2024. Reassuringly, there is still time to get ahead of the continuing decline. As the costs of borrowing continue to increase, and mortgage approvals fall, now may be the best time to sell if you need to.
If you are considering buying or selling a property, Clifton Ingram has a highly experienced team of approachable lawyers ready to assist you. Speak to one of our team on either 03003 035762 or 01252 733 733 or alternatively complete our online contact form.