There’s no such thing as the ‘perfect time to move home’ so, if you’re holding out for the ideal time to get buying or listing, you’ll likely be waiting for a very long time. Here at Centrick, we believe that there is simply no time like the present to get moving. But how long does it take to move, is listing in the winter a good idea, and are there any reasons why you should wait to sell or buy?
During and immediately after the pandemic, the backlog of conveyancing work made moving a slow process. However, this is not the case in 2023 as this backlog has reduced the time from offer to exchange significantly from 150 days in 2022 to 125 days in . Another factor that is speeding up the time it takes to move is the reduction in competition for property as 2023 comes to an end. Mortgage rates have priced many out of the market, encouraging first-time buyers to keep renting and to continue to wait until the market offers more favourable rates. However, if you are in the financial position to buy a property now, you can take advantage of this lack of competition which is making conveyancers and solicitors relatively quiet and reducing the number of ‘bidding wars’ for individual properties, which can quicken the pace of your move.
Rapidly rising prices over the last few years have discouraged many searching buyers from even considering moving into their first home. Prices rose by 25% between the start of 2020 and Autumn 2022, delaying many first-time buyers’ hopes of purchasing their first home. However, with average property prices set to decline over the next year, there really is no time like the present to get on the property ladder for a far more reasonable price than you’d think. For those who are looking to sell a property while prices are lower, it’s worth considering that although your sale price may be slightly lower, you will likely be able to secure your next home for a better price than you would have in 2020-2022. Some experts predict that property prices could fall by 10% by the start of 2024, making this the perfect time to get more for your money.
The Bank of England base rate has been a contentious issue for buyers, deterring many from beginning their search for a new home. The base rate has incrementally crept up to 5.25%, with many predicting that it could still increase further. Although not high when considering the peaks and troughs of the base rate, including when the base rate hit a high of 17%, high interest rates have certainly deterred buyers from being active in the property market. As a result of the high base rate, many movers are taking a step back and waiting for interest rates to come down as they are expected to over the next few years. However, high interest rates are actually reducing competition in the market which makes it easier for buyers to secure their dream properties. Furthermore, in this buyers market, buyers have more negotiating power to bargain for lower prices, as sellers are no longer faced with an onslaught of offers and enquiries in this difficult market. As such, buyers should feel encouraged by the lack of competition in the market and use this to their advantage to secure better deals.
Building upon the points raised in Myth 3, now is actually the perfect time to move home if you are a first-time buyer. With rents increasing and becoming increasingly unaffordable, many renters are considering purchasing their first home. Beyond having more negotiating power in this buyer’s market, first-time buyers still have access to an abundance of schemes which have replaced the Help To Buy scheme. This puts first-time buyers in a unique position where they can take advantage of falling house prices alongside the benefits of these schemes, many of which also bring down the initial cost of purchasing a home. From Shared Ownership options that allow you to incrementally purchase shares of your house in 1% chunks, to the Affordable Homes Programme which offers huge discounts on eligible properties – there are a huge variety of options available for those looking to get onto the property ladder today.
When it comes to buying or selling, you can be sure to make a success of it with a reliable, trustworthy agent on your side. A reputable agent can be make-or-break for buyers and sellers: poor agents provide sub-par communication which can lead to confusion and delays, improper property valuations that overvalue or undervalue your home, and poor compliance. Choosing a local agent you can trust is a surefire way to set yourself on the right path when it comes to starting your property journey. Agents like Centrick have a dedicated valuations team to price your home perfectly, a strong reputation that buyers and sellers can trust, and an abundance of connections we have accumulated over our 18 years of business, many of whom are searching investors poised to find their next buy-to-let unit and homebuyers looking for their next move.
Do you think now is the perfect time to move home with Centrick? Sellers looking for a valuation in seconds can check out our Instant Valuation tool here, and searching buyers can browse our range of properties here.
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