Yorkshire Property Market Update - Spring 2013
Well, Spring is in the air and for me, personally, it’s a welcome relief. The Preston family consists of four children under four years old, so there are only so many soft plays and freezing cold walks that we can handle. Hugo, our newest addition is now about 3 months old and is starting to liven up as the weather warms so we are all looking forward to some time outside.
This is also the time of year that we traditionally see an upturn in sales activity. This year has been no exception and whilst I don’t like to use our business as the sole bellwether of the Yorkshire housing market it’s obviously how I form most of my judgements.
Bringing houses to market
What’s interesting is that from October 2012 onwards there has been fierce competition for new listings, we have been benefiting from better brand recognition than we had 12 months ago, so we have done relatively well. However, the total pool of new instructions is smaller than it has been in previous years.
The consequence of this factor is that buyers have had a slightly smaller selection of properties to choose from in January 2013. This has meant that whilst our new properties to the market are up 37% in January and February compared to 2012, our sales are up 43% over the same period. If this trend continues then my prediction of a brisk first half to the year should prove more accurate than usual.
Demand to buy
As well as the question of supply there is a clear benefit to historically low interest rates and the governments ‘funding for lending scheme’ which is helping lower the interest rates of higher loan-to value products (85% and 90% mortgages). This is opening up the market to those excluded for some time.
My colleagues at Preston Baker Financial Services are still often finding it challenging to place products for customers with anything other than the best credit history. Most of us have credit cards and a simple late payment on one credit card for one month can be enough to stop you getting the mortgage you want.
It’s really important to set up direct debits for the minimum payments on your credit cards, for that one month you are away for two weeks will end up giving you an unexpected surprise when you come to move or re-mortgage.
The new Governor of the Bank of England has also recently commented that negative interest rates are also not off the agenda for the UK economy which no doubt will only assist the lenders’ appetite to offer extended low interest rate products.
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