How Will Brexit Affect House Prices In The UK?
As the UK passes the original deadline for Brexit, many industries continue to be affected by the ongoing confusion regarding the state of the markets if the country leaves the European Union. But how will Brexit affect house prices in the UK?
How does Brexit affect the property market?
The property market is heavily tied-in with the state of consumer confidence, which can be observed through historical data gathered during the recessions over the last 40 years. In the most recent recession over a decade ago, average sold house prices across the country fell by 20 per cent over 16 months, while house purchase transactions fell from 1.65 million per year, to 730,000 in 2009.
For many analysts, this recession – or the Financial Crisis as it became known – was the worst economic downturn for the UK since the days of the Great Depression. However, housing values were propped-up in the years following by wealthy foreign investors taking advantage of cheap property in the capital.
Unfortunately, in the time since, the London property bubble has started to burst as more and more companies have moved their headquarters to the EU mainland to avoid trading issues if Brexit goes ahead. It is, therefore, more likely that the housing market will suffer a decline greater than that of the Financial Crisis in the event of a negotiated deal with Brussels, or no deal at all.
Will Brexit cause house prices to crash?
Large numbers of property experts believe that the property market, along with many commercial businesses will be the first to experience a huge downtown as the government attempts to collaborate with other nations in an attempt to secure trade deals.
As retail and service providing businesses will lose money due to increased trade tariffs, it is more than likely that they will freeze pay rises, lay off staff and close the number of outlets from which they operate. This is likely to lead to a higher number of people being out of work or earning less than expected, so the rate of consumer spending is also likely to drop – and this includes large purchases such as houses.
What impact will Brexit have on property prices?
Many homeowners have situations arise that requires them to sell their house regardless of the market condition due to starting a new career, or simply due to ill health. But if the demand for houses drops, then those who are looking to sell their house fast will have to accept much lower offers if they wish to complete the transaction. If this occurs en-masse, then it is very likely that house prices will crash.
While it is impossible to calculate the fall in house prices in the event of a deal due to Theresa May’s inability to reach a consensus with the EU’s negotiators, banks believe that if we leave the EU without a deal then they would expect to see a fall of 30%, placing large swathes of the population into negative equity, quite possibly leading to another recession even worse than the Financial Crisis.
If you’re worried about the effects of Brexit on your house sale, why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Estate agencies under fire for turning a blind eye to crime
Despite a strong belief that the estate agency industry is heavily regulated, the lack of oversight by many unregistered agents has forced the government to hand out fines to tackle the growing problem of money laundering.
While estate agents are hardly regarded as the most trustworthy of professionals by consumers and industry experts alike, large numbers of vendors who are looking to sell their home fast are often more than happy to hire an agency – with little research of their own – in the hopes of securing high sold house prices.
Unlike many financial businesses which require a prolonged vetting process designed to rout out applicants who could be considered morally flexible, anyone can set up an estate agency business with little more than a registration with HMRC and a redress scheme – potentially allowing anyone to become an estate agenct.
While this is not a massive issue in itself, these loose set of rules allow criminals to launder money gained through wrongdoing via real estate investment. An obvious example of this is the mass-purchasing of central London residences by Russian Oligarchs in an attempt to safeguard their finances.
The government introduced regulations and fines many years ago in order to curb the exploitation of agencies who fail to probe suspicious clients, and to prevent housing values being falsely inflated. And as a result of fifty spot-checks carried out by HMRC this year, so far there have been a worrying number of agencies hit with financial penalties for failing to register with, or for not adhering to the HMRC money-laundering regulatory scheme. The most high-profile of which has been Countrywide, who were last month hit with a fine of £215,000.
“Criminals who seek to use this country as a place to launder money should be in no doubt that they have nowhere to hide,” said Ben Wallace, Minister for National Security and Economic Crime.
Estate agents are a crucial line of defence against them and that’s why they’re under a legal – and moral – obligation to file a report when they spot something amiss. It’s wrong to think of money laundering as a victimless crime. Those with dirty cash to clean don’t just sit on it – they reinvest it in serious organised crime, from drug importation to child sexual exploitation, human trafficking and even terrorism.”
So how does this affect the average consumer? For buyers, as long as they have no nefarious plans for illegal investment then they need not worry as the regulations are there to help those who stay on the right side of the law. For sellers on the other hand, a failure to deal with a reputable estate agency who are willing to protect their interests can lead to a number of complications further down the line. For example, sellers who discover that their home has been purchased through money laundering schemes may find themselves out-of-pocket as money seized by the authorities can leave the status of the sold property in limbo as legal issues are resolved – a process that can take years.
Is it any wonder then that companies such as National Homebuyers are finding themselves inundated with vendors looking for fast house sales via a reputable company who can complete on a purchase in as little as two weeks?
Prefer to avoid estate agents? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Are buy-to-let properties a good investment?
For many years, landlords have reaped the rewards of property investment – but are the same opportunities for profit available to those looking to start a buy-to-let investment today?
How do buy to let properties work?
The buy-to-let system allows an investor to purchase a property with the sole intent of profiting from a tenant who pays a monthly fee in exchange for residence or use of the building.
The logic behind such a purchase is that the monthly mortgage repayments the owner of the property needs to make to their lender is less than the fee they receive from the tenant themselves.
Can you get a mortgage for buy-to-let properties?
Similar to a normal residential mortgage, buy-to-let mortgages can legally be applied for at any number of lenders. However, in an effort to prevent the wealthy from simply buying up every available house in the country, the associated fees are often much higher.
Lenders also tend to be stricter with investors during the application process for a buy-to-let mortgage as opposed to a residential mortgage. For example, with a residential mortgage it is common for deposits to fall as low as five per cent, with certain banks often requiring no deposit at all in exchange for higher repayment fees; whereas a buy-to-let application will require a deposit of anywhere between 20-40% of the total value of the property.
Furthermore, the application itself will require the investor to have a better credit rating than if they were applying for a standard residential mortgage, and it is extremely unlikely that a lender would consider an applicant who earns less than £25,000 per year.
There are also age limits on buy-to-let investments. A lender is unlikely to offer a buy-to-let mortgage to an individual who will be over the age of 70-75 once the repayments would be completed.
Are buy to let mortgages a good idea?
In theory, buy-to-let investments are a great idea – especially at a time when rental payments are higher than ever due to a mass shortage of affordable housing for first-time buyers. However, the geographical area in which a buy-to-let investment is made can heavily affect the profit margin potential, and an application can be refused if the projected monthly rental income is less than 25-30% higher than the monthly mortgage repayment.
A buy-to-let property has historically been an excellent way to provide a pension for a landlord once they retire from their work-life – and as time passes, the house can be re-mortgaged or re-evaluated by the lender in order to provide an even greater profit for the owner.
However, it is worth noting that both Capital Gains tax, as well as basic income tax will push the investor into a higher tax bracket, and this can severely limit the aforementioned profit. It is therefore advisable for an investor to provide as higher deposit as possible, to maximise their annual earnings during repayments.
Is it worth buying to let?
Whether a buy-to-let investment is a good idea entirely depends on how savvy the landlord is with regard to personal finance.
Some landlords purchase homes, only to find that they encounter a period where they cannot find a tenant and as a result, cannot afford the necessary repayments during that time. This can often lead to repossession and the loss of the deposit regardless of potential sold house prices.
It’s also important to remember that the profit made from the tenants can not necessarily be spent as soon as it is earnt, as most buy-to-let mortgages are ‘interest-only’. This means that while a landlord only pays for the interest on the property from month-to-month, when they reach the end of their borrowing term, they are expected to pay off the property in full.
Another key point is that a buy-to-let investor can not necessarily sell their house fast to repay the mortgage, as if housing values fall and the investor finds themselves in negative equity, they would still be responsible for the outstanding payments to their lender even after they have offset the money gained from the sale of their property against their debts.
Are you looking to sell your home fast? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Sellers in shock as asking prices fall to new lows
As fears regarding Brexit continue to affect the housing market, sellers are finding themselves having to continually reduce their asking prices in order to entice buyers – leading to the weakest market growth since 2010.
Whether you need to sell your house fast, or are happy to wait until the right offer comes along, all vendors are desperate to get the highest price for their home. Unfortunately, things don’t always work out that way, as changes within the economy as well as differing levels of enthusiasm from buyers throughout the year can force a seller to reduce their asking price to ensure a sale.
Thanks to the public insecurity regarding the upcoming Brexit deadline, along with growing levels of poverty as a result of the austerity measures introduced by the Tory government over the last eight years, the housing market is struggling to maintain momentum – and it appears to be the vendors that are bearing the brunt of the situation.
According to property portal Rightmove, the asking price of a UK home dropped by 3.2% between October and December, and consequently, house prices for the entire of 2018 only rose by 0.7% – far below the 2% per annum rise the majority of surveyors and valuers would expect in a healthy economy.
Certain government officials have voiced their concerns regarding the falling housing values and the knock-on effects that could arise if more homeowners decide to stay-put, instead or sizing up or down.
For example, industries that rely on new homeowners for their profits – such as DIY retailers and curtain, carpet and furniture manufacturers – could face a slowdown that would be unprecedented.
The fall in sold house prices appears to be centred around the south and south-east, where housing has become unaffordable for all but the most affluent individuals in recent years. With the capital facing many potential setbacks in the upcoming months, however, as an increasing number of businesses threaten to relocate their headquarters elsewhere in Europe if no trade deal is in place by March 29th, those who have bought in the last 12 months in the worse affected areas may find themselves in negative equity as values slump.
“It’s usual for new-to-the-market sellers to price lower in the run-up to Christmas to tempt distracted buyers, so we should not read too much into the mere fact of two consecutive monthly falls,” said Miles Shipside, a Rightmove director and housing market analyst.
“However, these falls have been larger than usual, making this the largest fall over two months for six years, showing that there are more than just seasonal forces at play.”
It is, nevertheless, important to remember that if you do need to sell your house in as shorter time as possible, it is always worth contacting National Homebuyers who are willing to buy any house, regardless of market strength or condition.
Not getting the asking price you’re looking for? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
The rental trap: 72% say that lottery win is the only way out
A think tank has carried out a survey across England and Wales to mark the launch of the Affordable Housing Commission, the results of which have painted a depressing picture of the UK’s housing crisis.
Chaired by Lord best, the Affordable Housing Commission has been established to find solutions to the problems endured by members of British society who struggle to make ends meet. The survey – carried out by the Smith Institute in collaboration with the Nationwide Foundation charity – has found that 72% of those questioned believe that only a lottery win will help them to finally buy their own property due to rising sold house prices.
Even more worrying is the discovery that 39% of those in rental accommodation are relying on family inheritance to save for a deposit.
“The survey results hammer home the extent of our national affordable housing crisis. This is no longer a problem confined to a few housing hotspots but is recognised as an issue by people of all ages and income levels across every region,” said Lord Best.
“The scale of this challenge demands we stop tinkering and build a consensus around some bold solutions.”
The think-tank performed the survey in order to gain a better insight on the public perception of living costs in today’s economy and found that 64% of the 1400 renters and homeowners questioned believe that the country is undergoing a brutal affordable housing crisis due to rising property values.
The findings are likely to cause further headaches for the current minister for housing Kit Malthouse, who is already under pressure to deliver the new-build homes promised by the Tory government under David Cameron.
Almost half of those quizzed admitted that they had encountered financial difficulties over the past year covering their living costs, and a quarter of all renters stated that they had taken out credit cards just to cover basic amenities. And with the cost of housing still increasing, many in the industry are worried that a vendor hoping to sell their home fast will find it increasingly hard to find a buyer who can afford their asking price.
Agents are therefore advising sellers to be realistic with their asking prices if they are looking for a quick sale, or to contact a house buying company such as National Homebuyers who are always happy to provide a competitive quote.
Need a quick sale? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Crisis As New Mortgage Deposits Unaffordable For First Time Buyers
As rental fees continue to rise, the additional costs to tenants is forcing those who may once have been prospective buyers to put their lives on hold as they struggle to find the money for a mortgage deposit.
The issues facing those living in rented accommodation across the UK have been well documented in recent years. But as austerity measures continue for the majority of Brits – despite the promises made in the recent budget – it’s clear that there is no end in sight for the misery felt by millions stuck in the rental trap.
Moreover, there also appears to be a growing divide between different regions of the country in regard to the amount of rent paid by tenants according to a recent study by Your Move.
While certain areas such as London, Wales, and the north east saw a slight fall in rental costs over the last 12 months, the average rent paid by tenants across England and Wales still rose by 2.6% versus the same time last year.
The data released also showed that while the demand by prospective tenants for rental properties has sharply increased, the number of properties available to rent has fallen.
This may be due to the fact individuals are choosing to stay in situ for longer instead of moving house, but analysts believe the more likely explanation is that the changes made to both capital gains tax and stamp duty by the Tory government over the last three years have caused large numbers of landlords to exit the property business and sell their assets in order to take advantage of the continually rising sold house prices.
“To put tenants back in the driving seat, we need more homes available to rent,” said David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark.
“And the only way this will be achieved is if the Government makes the market more attractive for buy-to-let investors.”
According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, rents are due to increase over the next five years by three per cent a year, while housing values are expected to rise by two per cent a year.
Of course, these higher rental costs have a knock-on effect that can affect those who wish to sell their house fast, as renters who are who trying to buy their own home are finding it harder and harder to save the necessary deposit, leaving a smaller pool of buyers and therefore less competition for the availability homes – often leading to lower offers. However, those who need to sell fast can always contact National Homebuyers, who are always happy to offer competitive quotes for any house, regardless of situation or location.
Are you unable to sell? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Older individuals are now choosing to rent in their retirement
A rising number of retired Brits are finding that due to the increasing price of property across the UK, it makes more sense for them to rent luxury retirement apartments instead of buying them.
When the media discusses the idea of ‘Generation Rent’, it often conjures up images of millennials and members of ‘Generation Z’ becoming trapped in rented accommodation due to the inability to find the money to place a deposit on a house of their own.
However, in recent years a new trend has emerged in the world of rental properties, and that is the increasing number of older individuals choosing to rent instead of buying a place to retire.
Many baby boomers were lucky enough to have spent their working life at a time within the 20th century where wage levels and sold house prices increased at a similar rate. As a result, the investments they made and savings they gathered earlier in life have, for the majority, afforded them a comfortable retirement without having to rely on a state pension.
This level of financial comfort, however, is still not enough for them to afford their dream homes near the sea – so they are choosing to lease rental apartments long-term as an alternative.
While this may seem a little odd considering that most younger individuals can’t afford any home, let alone a dream house on the coast, there appear to be a number of advantages for those who choose a rental retirement.
Firstly, many of the new ‘hotel quality’ luxury apartments offer their clients 24-hour security, along with communal areas that offer restaurants, club rooms, salons and gyms – facilities most of us could only dream of. Even more impressive is the fact that all utilities, maintenance fees, and the on-site concierge service are all included in the monthly rental cost.
There is, unfortunately, a down side as a result of this trend for those looking to sell their house fast. The rising number of baby boomers who are choosing to rent instead of buy, are slowly but surely, reducing the number of prospective buyers in the market with the necessary financial reserves to buy – the knock-on effect of which is that vendors’ homes are losing value and are relying on only the younger generations to buy their homes. But as we are all aware, many younger people are struggling to keep their proverbial heads above the water to merely sustain an average quality of life.
So, what can these vendors do if they wish to sell? An increasing number of sellers are discovering that they do not necessarily have to rely on a private buyer to move on with their lives, and can instead call on the services of National Homebuyers, who will happily provide a competitive quote for their home, along with the promise of a quick completion.
Can’t find a buyer? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Owning is now cheaper than renting everywhere in the UK
New market research by Santander Mortgages has found that there is now no part of the country where it is cheaper to rent than own.
It is a sad state of affairs when society presents a glass ceiling to those who find themselves stuck in the rent cycle.
For many Brits, purchasing a home of reasonable value and enjoying all the benefits that come along with it is the ultimate dream. Especially the knowledge that the monthly payments you make each month to keep a roof over your head are furthering the equity you hold within that property instead of lining the pockets of a career landlord.
Sadly, however, the reality of the housing market is a far cry from the aforementioned idyllic situation, with the majority of monthly rental payments far exceeding the size of an equivalent monthly mortgage repayment for the same house, and thanks to new research by Santander Mortgages, it has emerged that owning is cheaper than renting no matter where you live in the UK.
The research, released last month has found that owning a home costs, on average, £2,246 less than renting it, saving an average of over £180 per month.
Why is owning cheaper than renting?
While many older Brits fondly remember the glory days where a house could be bought in its entirety for less than three years wages, the overreaching feeling among younger generations is that the age of prosperity is dead and buried, with an individual needing to save for the best part of a decade just to afford a 15% deposit.
Moreover, as sold house prices continue to rise – albeit at a slower rate than previously – the average deposit needed by a first-time buyer has reached an incredible £51,905.
As these figures continue to increase as we head into the future, you would be well within your right to wonder how an individual in a rental property can ever hope to be in a position to buy with such high monthly living expenditures.
The government are clearly aware of the issue, having made Help To Buy ISAs available to all UK residents to boost savings, but the maximum grant of £3,000 pales into insignificance when compared with the size of most deposits.
This is bad news for a huge number of homeowners who are hoping to sell their house fast, as they are likely to find it increasingly difficult to find a buyer with the necessary financial reserves to purchase. And if they are unable to find a buyer, then their only options are to stay-put, or accept an offer way below their asking price.
Another option is to contact National Homebuyers, who can accelerate the house-buying process by making a formal offer in cash.
Buyers can’t afford your asking price? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Third of homeowners would not be able to afford their own home today
A new survey has found that a third of British homeowners would be unable to afford their home if they had to re-purchase it today thanks to record value increases.
We often hear about the ever-widening gulf between wages and sold house prices, yet the quantitative data provided rarely illustrates the points in a fashion to which many people can relate. Every so often, however, surveys are carried out that use a more qualitative approach, offering a more straightforward viewpoint from individuals to which we can relate ourselves.
This month, a new survey of 3,000 homeowners by MyJobQuote has provided an interesting perspective held by many in regard to the steep rise in house prices over the past few decades.
In the survey, over a third of those sampled stated that if they would have to re-purchase their own home today, they could not afford to do so. Furthermore, the research found that across the 3,000 homes in question, there had been an average increase in value of over £50,000.
Despite the low-performing economy, house prices have continued to increase in value at an unprecedented rate – with a 2.2% increase in the last year alone. And while this may appear to be great news for those who own, the true value of a home is, in reality, based on how much a prospective buyer is willing to pay for it. And as houses continue to become more and more unaffordable for those who are not already on the property ladder, those looking to sell their house fast should be weary if they opt for a high asking price – unless they are willing to see their house spend a long time on the market.
Interestingly, the Halifax House Price Index has found that the number of those currently living in rented accommodation who are planning to buy their first home appears to have fallen in first half of 2018.
While this may be a result of national insecurity regarding the aftermath of the decision to leave the European Union in March 2019, many social experts believe that the fall in interest may simply be the result of renters already giving up on the dream of one day owning their own home.
“The Halifax numbers confirm other reports of a more general slowdown in market activity, with fewer homes being sold, fewer houses being put on the market, and a decline in consumer confidence,” said Mike Scott, chief property analyst at estate agent Yopa.
“If this slowdown continues for the rest of the year, 2018 will turn out to be the least active year for the housing market since 2013.”
So, what can sellers do if they need to sell but can’t find a buyer? Well, one of the increasingly popular methods to secure a sale in the short-term is to contact a property buying company who can provide a competitive quote, and if the vendor is happy, then a sale can be completed in as little as two weeks.
Can’t find anyone to buy your home? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
When is the best time to sell your house in the UK?
Selling a house in today’s market can be a nightmare – but knowing the best time to sell can save you a lot of hassle.
If you need to move house for the sake of work, or simply to be closer to family, you’re probably crossing your fingers and hoping to sell your home fast. Unfortunately, many vendors find themselves a little disheartened when their property ends up sitting on the market for months on end – especially if they’ve taken the time to make their house presentable and already had several viewings with no offers.
What many of these sellers don’t realise, however, is that the property market has high and low activity seasons, and if you want to sell fast, it’s worth paying attention.
Is it a good time to sell my house?
If you’re thinking of placing your home for sale in the next few weeks, you may want to consider holding off for a while as we’re about to enter the summer months – but why is this such a bad thing?
Put simply, the majority of Brits enjoy going on holiday in either July or August to ensure they get a nice sunny break from their everyday life. And consequently, are less likely to have the necessary funds for a mortgage deposit after splashing out for flights, accommodation and food. Plus, they’re unlikely to want to deal with the stress of a house sale while they’re supposed to be relaxing abroad.
Similarly, parents with young children are likely to find themselves swamped as schools close for the summer – and trying to look for a new place to live while finding things to keep their hyper-active infants busy is no mean feat. So, when is the best time to sell your house in the UK?
What’s the best month to sell your house in the UK?
When people begin the process of selling their home, they often ask themselves “how much are properties in my area?” in order to gauge the amount of profit they could make once the sale has gone through. What they often don’t realise is that the prices they research may have been deeply affected by the time they were originally placed on the market.
A house that has been placed for sale in summer, may fail to sell in the short-term due to a quiet market place – and the longer a house is on sale, the more suspicious buyers will be regarding its appeal. It is therefore quite possible that the house will have, at some point, been reduced in price before it was finally purchased.
So, when is the best time of year to sell a house? Traditionally, summer should be avoided for the reasons stated above. However, winter should also be avoided. During the winter time, the days are short and dark – making it hard for potential buyers to appreciate the effort you’ve made to make your home look inviting. For parents, the weeks leading up to the Christmas holidays are often an extremely busy time. And due to the festivities and gift purchases, their bank accounts are more likely to be running dry than in spring or autumn.
The best months to sell your house in the UK are always the same each year. If you wish to sell fast in the first half of the year, aim to put your house on sale at the end of March just in time for spring. At this time of year, the kids are in school, the days are starting to get longer and more importantly, there will be more buyers actively looking to purchase.
If, however, you were unable to get the house ready for spring, try holding off until mid-September. By this time, all the kids will have returned to school, there’s still enough warmth to encourage buyers to get out and look for a new home, and there’s enough time for them to complete on a sale and get settled before the countdown to Christmas starts.
When do most houses go on the market in the UK?
The busiest time for the UK housing market is always in spring. Maybe it’s the renewed enthusiasm that people enjoy as the temperatures climb, or maybe it’s just because of advice from a friend or colleague, but when buyers start looking for a new home – you want your house to be ready for viewings.
Another reason that spring tends to be the busiest time for house purchases is the competition. A buyer is more likely to successfully haggle the asking price of a house down if they have several options available to them, and buyers are usually worried that if they don’t accept an offer, they may end up waiting for months for another.
Luckily, if you have to sell a home and can’t afford to wait until spring or autumn, you can always use the services of house buying companies, who are willing to make generous offers all year round – even if you’ve had trouble selling in the past.
Hoping to sell during the quieter months? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Millennials facing a lifetime of rent
As the gap between house prices and wage increases continues to grow, new research predicts that a growing number of millennials will be renting for the rest of their lives.
If you were to ask the average person on the street what they hope to achieve in life before they turn 40, more often than not the answer would be to own their own home. As many average people are aware, however, this long held dream appears to be ebbing away for all but the lucky few.
The housing crisis first began to rear its ugly head over 20 years ago, when members of Generation X found that sold house prices were increasing at a rate that left wage rates in the dust. In the late nineties, nevertheless, housing could still be considered ‘affordable’ compared to the ever-widening gulf between housing values and personal income that exists today – with the average home costing eight times the average earnings.
Illustrating this point perfectly is a recently released report by the Resolution Foundation who have found that 40% of all millennials are still living in rented accommodation at the age of 30, and a third of all millennials are facing the prospect of living in rented accommodation their entire lives.
Interestingly, the comments sections of news articles relating to the matter on various websitess such as the BBC are often filled with older individuals complaining about millennials, who they believe are spending money on frivolous assets as opposed to amassing savings and starting a family. However, if they were to spend a little time examining the living costs for a young family in today’s world, they may get a more balanced picture of the inequalities suffered by those merely trying to live according to their means.
In the last 15 years alone, the number of families with children living in rented accomodation has risen by 600,000 to a staggering 1.8 million, and with reduced housing benefits due to Tory austerity measures – in an effort to reduce the national debt – combined with a stagnant housing market in the wake of the Brexit referendum, the issue is unlikely to resolve itself anytime soon.
While all pollical parties pledge to make the housing crisis the focal point of their manifestos for the next election, accountancy firm PwC estimates over 7.2 million household will be renting by the year 2025 – up from 5.4m today.
This is not only bad news for young people hoping to buy a home, it is also a nightmare for those who own but are hoping to sell their home fast in the near future as it seems that the further we look into the future, the fewer potential buyers there will be with the necessary financial clout to make an offer within an acceptable range of the asking price.
Looking for a quick sale? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
How to sell a house fast
Selling a house is an experience that many homeowners consider a necessary evil if they wish to upsize or downsize. Whether the stress comes from trying to find a decent agent, staying optimistic about viewings, or simply waiting for a buyer to make an offer – the house selling process is not one for the faint of heart. And when there is a limited time frame within which a sale must be made, anxiety levels can often shoot through the roof. However, the ability to sell a house fast is an important skill to learn for those hoping to move house for a new job, or simply to be closer to loved ones.
How to sell a house fast in a slow market
There are often times throughout the year where the property market appears to be in the midst of a massive slowdown. As a result, many vendors around the country find themselves reducing their house prices in order to remain competitive – but are they panicking unnecessarily?
In short, the answer is yes. Similar to stock markets, the world of property is heavily underpinned by consumer confidence, so even in the quietest months it doesn’t take much for the market to gain enough inertia for activity to increase rapidly. One of the best ways to ensure that you can sell a house fast in a slow market is to increase the visibility of your home to potential buyers – this means ensuring that you do not enter an agreement for any single agent to be the sole contract holder for the sale. Admittedly, you may end up paying a slightly higher commission by using multiple agents, but if you need to sell your house quickly, it is often necessary to make concessions.
Another great tip to drum-up a bit of interest in your home is to take advantage of mediums such as social media – after all, you never know whether a friend, or a friend of a friend maybe on the lookout for a new home. Plus, if you sell the home yourself, you can always pocket the commission that you would normally pay to an agent.
Sometimes, however, you need to sell your house fast, and no matter what you try, the market continues to be stagnant. In these circumstances, you can try using house buying companies who will buy any home, regardless of market conditions or location to help you move on with your life.
Tips on how to sell your house quickly
Even if the market is in full swing, selling a house quickly can still be a very stressful experience. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to increase the likelihood of a quick sale:
- Find an agent who has experience in both your area, and also your style of home. When it comes to selling a house, experience matters.
- Make yourself available as often as possible for any potential viewings. While this is easier said than done, the more time you can make for those looking at purchasing, the faster a sale can be achieved.
- Offer your agent an incentive in regard to commission levels. Be clear that if a sale can be achieved in a specified time frame, the greater their earnings will be.
- Try researching some sold property prices in your area to ensure that you aren’t asking too much, and if it is within your budget, maybe undercut the competition.
- If you have the time, try making a list of all local amenities and their respective distances from your home. Many sellers will judge certain areas harshly without ever visiting them, so give them a great reason to consider yours.
- Get in touch with your conveyancer early. Quite often, the greatest delays do not come from a lack of potential buyers, but from the movement of paperwork between the relevant parties.
- If you have a choice, avoid buyers who are stuck in a chain and go for those who are able to move in straight away. And if they’re cash buyers, even better.
Choose the best time to sell your home
While there are always a large number of househunters on the prowl at any given time throughout the year, there is a marked difference in market activity between the seasons.
Traditionally the worst times to sell are always during summer and winter. A large number of potential homeowners will have children of varying ages – and as many parents can attest, the summer and winter holidays are often stressful enough without having to factor in the purchase of a new home. Moreover, during the summer months when the weather is nice, people try to avoid stress by going on holiday – a lofty expense in itself; while around the Christmas period, the cost of travelling and presents can often leave your bank account drained.
If you can afford to wait, experts will always advise a vendor to place their home on the market in either spring or autumn.
In spring, the longer days not only encourage buyers to look around for a new home, but the additional light also helps to make a house seem more aesthetically pleasing and bright than in winter. Additionally, if you have a garden, the warmer temperatures and sunshine will help your flowers bloom – a welcome sight for any potential purchaser.
In autumn, buyers with children will have a bit more time on their hands once all the schools are open again. Furthermore, those who missed the spring bubble will be keen to buy and settle in before the temperatures begin to plunge again.
Prepare your house for a quick sale
Despite all the effort you put into making your home visible to potential buyers, if it doesn’t look desirable, the chances of achieving a sale in a short time frame are very slim. So why not do everything you can to make your home as attractive as possible? It may seem obvious, but a large number of houses don’t sell simply because the owners haven’t bothered to make it look appealing to a potential buyer.
- Go minimal – buyers are always more enthusiastic about a property if they can see themselves living there. This means removing a large amount of your personality from the décor, and replacing it with a clear, canvas upon which they can project theirs – so try neutral colours on your walls and floors.
- Keep all laundry and clutter out of the way, and ensure that all doorways are clear from obstructions.
- Consider re-varnishing and treating any external wooden areas such as sills, doors, and cladding to prevent your home from looking ‘old’.
- Keep it perpetually clean – it may be tough, but you don’t want to have to turn-away viewings because you had a week where you let your house turn into a bombsite.
- If you’re selling during the winter months, make sure you keep the heating on throughout the day – even if you’ve already moved out.
- Keep the windows open prior to a visit, and invest in some air fresheners or odour absorbers to place around the home to remove any unwanted smells.
- If you have kids, make sure that their toys are confined to their room during viewings – while they may be adorable, certain buyers may not find their presence as welcoming as you had hoped.
- Keep your curtains open – a house will always look more inviting when viewed with copious amounts of natural light.
Ultimately, learning how to sell a house fast isn’t easy – but it’s always worth doing everything within your power to encourage your home to stand out from the crowd, and remind yourself that upon completing the sale, it will have all been worth it.
Looking for a fast house sale? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
High street agents losing out to online rivals
As the business world continues to move away from traditional shopfronts, high street agents are slowly realising that the future may not be as promising as once hoped.
For decades, high street estate agents have enjoyed a bountiful supply of potential home buyers coming through their doors on a daily basis, but their dominance over both the local and national property market could be nearing its end unless they act fast.
In the days prior to the internet, any individual looking to buy had little choice but to liaise with their local agent in order to find the perfect home for themselves. And for many years, these agents enjoyed a handsome commission on all sold house prices. However, with an increasing number of online rivals offering the same service – often with lower fees – is it any wonder that more and more traditional agents are beginning to feel the squeeze?
Of course, for certain older members of society, there remains the belief that an established local high street agent possesses a level of knowledge regarding the area that is worth the additional price. For younger, more tech savvy individuals, however, there is little a local agent can offer them in terms of knowledge that they cannot attain themselves via a quick Google search – and with stagnating wage increases and continually rising house prices, the appeal of an online alternative with cheaper fees is hard to resist.
In recent years, industry analysts have been quick to note the fall in business experienced by high street agents. Even market leaders such as Foxtons and Countrywide have seen the value of their shares plummet by over a quarter in the past year alone.
It unsurprising to learn, then, that many larger companies have been examining the possibility of merging their assets in an effort to remain on top. However, with online rivals such as Purple Bricks, Yopa and eMoov posting record profits year on year, many experts are wondering whether the former giants of high street sales have left their plans for recovery a little too late, and investors appear to be more than aware of this shift in fortunes according to Varde Partners’ Tim Mooney, who claims that high street commissions are simply “a joke”.
“There’s an analogy to travel agents — nobody books their holidays in a high-street travel agent’s anymore, it’s online,” he added.
For younger people, this is not so much of an issue, having grown-up in a digital world where any information can be accessed from a handheld device in a matter of seconds. For older, more traditional sellers, however, the switch to digital mediums may feel a little overwhelming.
Luckily, older vendors who need to sell their house fast, but would prefer to avoid online agents will always have the option of talking to house buying companies such as National Homebuyers who will happily discuss all available options that are open to them. And with the ability to complete a sale on a house within two weeks, regardless of situation or location, they can rest assured that the stress normally associated with selling a home can be easily avoided.
Prefer to avoid online estate agents? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
How much are estate agent fees?
If you’re looking to sell your house fast, there’s a good chance that you’ll be on the lookout for an online or high-street estate agent. However, with so many agents around the UK, it can often be hard to find one that you can trust to sell your house successfully with an offer as close to your original asking price as possible.
The quality of an agent can often be hard to judge. Many agents seem to request a ridiculous fee as payment, while others appear to undercut the competition significantly, but how can you – the client – know whether or not they are worth the requested payment percentage based on current sold house prices?
How much should I pay the estate agent?
With few exceptions, estate agent fees are always calculated on a percentage basis from the final sale figure for the property they are representing. As a vendor, you should not be expected to make any additional payments for any service related to the sale of your home. Of course, certain agents will offer – for an additional cost – to promote your listing above other similar listings on online portals such as Rightmove – but remember, it is in the agent’s best interests to sell your house in a short time period for as much as possible, and so most reputable agents will cover the cost of premium listings themselves.
So how much commission does an estate agent make? Across the UK, the average fee is around 1.3% of the final sale figure. Like many things in life, you get what you pay for, and consequently it’s worth being a little suspicious of estate agents whose fees are undercutting their competitors drastically – any agent worth their salt would never de-value their brand in such a way. Conversely, it’s also worth being suspicious of agents who overcharge their clients significantly unless it is clear why they do so, and whether their track-record in sales is productive enough to warrant the extra cost.
What are an estate agent’s fees?
An estate agent’s job is to promote your home to potential buyers who are looking to buy in the area. These may be local families who are planning to upsize, retired individuals who are looking to downsize, or even people from hundreds of miles away that need to move to the area for a job. Ensuring that your property is viewable by all potential buyers is no easy task – hence the sizeable fee. Using various mediums such as online portals, word-of-mouth, local and national advertising, an effective agent will be able to target those who are open to the possibility of purchasing. The fee that an agent charges also covers the man-hours involved by staff, operational overheads, valuation costs, and promotional materials for your home such as professional photographs and well-written descriptions.
However, it is important to remember that although an agent will provide you with a percentage quote, this does not mean that you can’t negotiate. Thanks to the competition amongst agents, there are certain situations that allow you to haggle:
- If an agent requests to be the sole contract holder for the sale, this can limit the number of potential buyers who will see your home and allows you to negotiate a lower commission – often as low as 0.8-1%
- If your property costs much more than the average home in the area (research these values in advance), it should be relatively easy to push down your agent’s fees as the sale of an expensive home does not necessarily require more work than a house of a much lower value. And as an agent’s commission is percentage based, they are still likely to collect a great paycheck at the end.
- Since 2016, the Property Ombudsman has instructed all estate agents to include VAT in any quote they offer to a client – so if an agent tries to charge you an additional amount once the sale has gone through, ensure that you contact your solicitor for legal advice, as well as report them to the necessary authority. Luckily, these underhanded tactics are rare.
How to sell a house without an estate agent
Luckily, if you’re a vendor who would prefer to avoid the hassle of dealing with agents, there are other options. If you can spare the time, you can always try to sell the house yourself – although as many others can attest, this route can be absolutely exhausting. Other options include the use of house buying companies such as National Homebuyers, who will happily buy any house, regardless of location or situation for a competitive fee – perfect for those who need to move house in a limited time-frame in order to move on with their lives.
Looking for a fast house sale? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Vendors cutting prices to encourage sales
As insecurity regarding the outcome of the UK’s planned exit from EU continues, vendors are slashing their prices to increase the likelihood of a sale.
Vendors across the country are slashing their asking prices in an effort to sell their homes fast, as fears grow that once Article 50 has been finalised, the value of their home may be even lower.
For London-based properties, the discounts have been stark. In prosperous areas such as Kingston and Richmond, vendors have cut their asking prices by an average of £84,244. While these reductions are smaller in size than those recorded after the financial crisis over a decade ago, they remain over 6% higher than those recorded prior to the EU referendum.
The online property portal Zoopla claims that around half of all properties in wealthy areas around London and Surrey have had their asking prices reduced under the advice of their agents in order to remain competitive. While this is good news for buyers who have the available funds to buy these discounted properties, it is bad news for both sellers and the property industry as a whole.
For an industry built on consumer confidence, such huge reductions in value are likely to put-off any homeowners considering selling their home in the short-term and instead encourage them to either place their home on the rental market, or stay-put until the market has recovered post-Brexit – assuming that it does.
The average reduction across the UK currently stands at £25,562, but with wage increases failing to meet expectations, those looking to buy their first homes are still unlikely to be able to take advantage. And while house values in general are still on the rise – albeit at a much slower rate than before – many analysts and economists are understandably weary regarding the robustness of the UK’s economy by the end of 2018.
“We see house prices rising a modest 2-3% in 2018,” said Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the forecasting group, the EY Item Club.
“The fundamentals for house buyers are likely to remain challenging over the coming months with consumers’ purchasing power continuing to be squeezed by inflation running higher than earnings growth. Additionally, housing market activity is likely to be hampered by fragile consumer confidence and a limited willingness to engage in major transactions.”
For many owners who need to sell, the current outlook appears to be a no-win situation without an element of luck – especially taking into account the interest rate hike in November that appears to have further dissuaded potential buyers. However, by using a company such as National Homebuyers, vendors can sell their homes for competitive prices before their values fall further.
Are you worried about selling your home? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Selling a hoarder’s home
While many people enjoy tuning into reality television shows that expose the nightmarish conditions within which many hoarders live, the reality behind the ratings push is often much more morbid.
Many of us know, or have known an individual who lives in a hoarder house, and are more than aware that the problem has its roots in mental illness. For older people who lived through the Second World War, the lack of available provisions and luxury items at the time led to a shift in mentality where the idea of discarding unwanted or unnecessary items could come back to haunt them if they ever faced the same situation. For others, it is an offshoot of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and depression – believing that an item they no longer need could be either useful in the future, or has a sentimental value that elevates its status above that of a simple ‘object’.
As hoarding itself is surprising prevalent across the country – albeit at different levels of severity – it often affects not just the hoarder, but their friends and family also. Moreover, hoarders themselves are more likely to suffer from depression, social anxiety, and various other disorders that heavily impact their mental and physical health. And sadly, as a result of these ailments they are far more likely to die earlier, leaving their nearest and dearest with the unpleasant task of selling a loved one’s hoarder home.
On the other hand, a hoarder may simply be trying to move so that they can fight the illness and make a fresh start, and in these situations, they are hoping to sell their house fast before they have a change of heart.
Obviously, a hoarder home is often unsellable as it stands, and so a number of steps must be taken to make the property seem appealing to those who are in the market to buy. But how do you go about selling a hoarder’s house?
Cleaning a hoarder’s house
An important realisation to make early on in the process is to be aware that you need more than one person to see the task through to completion. Not only is it dangerous to clean a hoarder home by yourself in case of an accident, but also because of the sheer scale of the task. While there are many companies who are happy to be sub-contracted to carry out the cleaning, they are unlikely to have known the hoarder on a personal level, and as a result they may find it hard to differentiate between the accumulated items that bare no value, and those items that are genuinely important or carry a true sentimental value to the ex-resident. By overseeing the project, you can ensure that important memories are kept safe by employing people you trust to help.
In order to put a hoarder house up for sale, it must first be habitable and safe. So, if you find yourself tasked with a hoarding clean up, there are some important rules to be followed.
1) Make the necessary safety arrangements
Due to the sheer number of objects, a hoarder house will have been hard to keep clean. It is, therefore, of paramount importance to wear the right protective clothing in case you run into any issues that could directly affect your health.
- Ensure that you have face masks to protect your team from dust, fibreglass insulation, rotten food, or dead rodents.
- Wear industrial-grade protective gloves to prevent cuts, or from having your skin exposed to dangerous materials.
- Wear appropriate waterproof overalls to prevent you from carrying any hazardous substances away from the house in the fibres of your clothing.
- Have a first-aid kit on site, as well as someone who is trained as a first-responder.
2) Hire skips for disposal
It is surprising just how many items can fit inside a home. In many cases, a small two-bedroom house can hold up to several skips worth of refuse, so be sure not to underestimate the situation.
3) Gather your cleaning supplies
Some of the key supplies needed throughout the clean-up will include: heavy-duty leak-proof refuse sacks; receptacles for items you aim to keep; both light and heavy-duty cleaning agents; disposable sponges, mops and cloths; a vacuum cleaner; and commercial carpet-cleaning equipment.
4) Empty the house
For anyone looking at buying a hoarder house, it’s much easier to see the property’s potential if they can see the layout in all its glory – so get your team to start with a single room, separating out items that need to be kept from those that can be disposed of, and start filling the skips. Once the first room is complete, move onto the next.
5) Start cleaning
Using the cleaning supplies, start sponging down walls, windows and windowsills before utilising industrial strength cleaners in rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens to remove any residual bacteria. There are likely to be many things in the house that are unsalvageable such as soiled carpets and curtains, as well as dis-coloured and damaged wallpaper – so prepare yourself for several days of elbow-grease.
It is also important to find the source of any unpleasant smells – if a hoarder has had pets, you may find that certain floorboards are soaked with urine, and they will need to be replaced.
6) Start restoring
Once cleaned, your can start making the home look habitable again. Go for neutral-colours when painting the walls and ceilings, and ensure that any out-dated equipment such as old ovens and microwaves are removed and replaced. It’s also a good idea to check the heating systems, as boilers in a hoarder’s house are unlikely to have been serviced in recent years.
Selling a hoarder’s house
Once you are ready to sell, the majority of the hard work will be behind you. Look for a local agent with prior experience with hoarder homes, but ideally, hire the photographer yourself. A true professional will always know the right angles from which to snap a shot, and through the use of a wide-angle lens make the home itself seem much more spacious.
For those who would prefer to avoid the traditional route of selling a house, you can also try hosting open days where in a preferred time slot, anyone who wants to look inside can come and show their interest.
Alternatively, you can contact National Homebuyers who will offer you a competitive price for the home, with the benefit of a fast sale within two weeks regardless of situation or location. And remember, if you would rather avoid the task of cleaning the house yourself, house buying companies will gladly offer to do the hard work for you once it is purchased.
Are you desperate to sell a hoarder home? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
How to sell a house that needs work done
For those who need to sell their house fast but don’t have the time to renovate, finding a buyer willing to pay a decent sum is hard work – so how do you maximise your profit?
Many individuals purchase a home with the hopes that, over time, they can renovate it. However, by the time they need to sell, they find that they have either never had the time to commit to making the necessary repairs, or simply lacked the motivation to do so.
The house, if sold, may provide a better return than the price it was purchased for, but the likelihood is that it will fall well-short of the asking price the vendors were hoping for.
Luckily, if you are selling a house that needs repairs, there are steps that you can take to ensure you attract the right kind of buyer who sees the potential in your home, despite the obvious drawbacks.
So, what are the important repairs to make when selling a house?
Deciding which features are worth spending money on is always a bit of a gamble, but the best way to get the most out of your sale is by putting yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer, and identify issues from the outside-in.
If you were to look upon your home for the first time, what would be immediately obvious? For many houses, the front elevation can be easily improved by re-varnishing wooden window and door frames – as well as ensuring that the windows themselves are kept clean. It’s also worth looking at the possibility of purchasing a new front door if your present one is beginning to look a bit shabby.
For many city houses, a build-up of carbon from road traffic can also make a home look tired and undesirable. So why not hire a pressure washer to dispel the decades of unsightly pollution and make your external walls look brand new?
Other peripheral features that are easy to tidy up include gardens and yards. By using weed-killer on paths and flower beds as well as re-gravelling your driveway and re-seeding your lawn, you can easily show that the house itself is well cared for, providing a great reason for buyers to enquire further.
Inside the home, there may of course, be a number of obvious issues that need attention such as damage to walls and doors – much of which can be taken care of with a liberal application of filler – but what about the less obvious details?
Many sellers choose to replace flooring in preparation for a sale, but it is worth noting that the majority of buyers will be replacing the floor themselves at some point, no matter how pleased you are with the present style. So why not save yourself money and time and hire a carpet cleaning machine which can easily remove years of dirt and discolouration.
So, what else should you consider when selling a house that needs repair? Regardless of your preference for colour and style, remember that you need a buyer to see the potential in your home, so make sure that all walls are painted in neutral colours such as cream, white, or lavender. While a paint job may take up a few weekends, the increased saleability of the property will make it all worthwhile by the time you finalise a deal.
What about a house that needs major repairs?
The roof may be starting to sag – but is it leaking? The foundations are not in the best condition – but do they pose a threat to the house in terms of stability? For serious issues, there is little point trying to pretend they don’t exist.
Any self-respecting buyer or developer will undoubtedly employ a structural surveyor prior to purchase, and if these structural problems end up being exposed in a Homebuyer’s Report after you have tried to conceal them, any trust a buyer has invested in you will disappear.
If a potential buyer is aware of an issue before a sale, however, it is a lot easier for you to negotiate the cost of repair into the asking price itself. In situations such as these, honesty is king.
Of course, you can fix serious defects yourself prior to selling, but it is worth remembering that the amount you spend on the repairs may end up costing you more than the return you gain after a sale – so temper your hopes and expectations.
Selling a house that needs repairs done
Selling a house that needs repairs is all about knowing your target buyers, the majority will fall into the following categories:
- Flippers – who aim to buy low, renovate and sell high.
- Developers – who make their living by flipping, but on a larger scale.
- Landlords – who aim to restore the property for rental purposes.
- Bargain hunters – who hope to find themselves in a great district for schools, or simply wish to move into a well-respected neighbourhood but have so far been unable to afford a house in A1 condition.
All of these potential purchasers will be aware that the home will need some renovation, but their urge to buy – especially in the case of bargain hunters – will allow them to see past many of the flaws your house exhibits.
It is worth, however, being a little savvy if dealing with flippers, developers and landlords as these individuals are professionals, and will go out of their way to secure a price that maximises their profit, not yours. This can be remedied by having a valuation carried by an impartial third-party surveyor complete with an estimate of value once all repairs have been carried out. This ensures that you know where you stand with regard to the value of your home, and gives you further ammunition when dealing with particularly ‘hostile’ buyers.
Need to sell but no time to renovate? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Mortgage applications affected by Universal Credit scheme
The beleaguered Tory-led benefits scheme known as Universal Credit is again under fire as reports surface that claimants are unable to use their income from benefits as proof of earnings during the house-buying process.
When Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith pushed for a revamp of the country’s benefits system in 2011, many of those already receiving financial aid from the government feared that the motivation behind this potential legislation was a push for further austerity measures to combat the UK’s ever growing fiscal deficit.
Their fears were, however, allayed as the Universal Credit scheme encountered multiple roadblocks on its way to implementation, leading many to believe that the scheme itself may never see the light of day.
The idea itself was sound in theory. Instead of administering different forms of benefit through separate policies, they should be combined into a simple, easy-to-use online system which can be accessed by anyone who needs them. This system would also incorporate incentives to get those without a job back into employment and allow the government to redirect the excess funds back into the UK economy. Unfortunately, after several IT programmes failed to deliver the desired functionality at a loss of over £30m – almost 10% of the entire IT budget – as well as numerous management failures, the Universal Credit system fell behind schedule by almost five years.
In early 2017, the scheme was rolled out in a number of test areas, the feedback from which has, so far, been worryingly negative. The lack of an intuitive online portal has led many of those lacking in IT experience to lose out on vital benefits due to an inability to navigate the site itself – and new reports are emerging that the aforementioned scheme is carrying with it such a stigma, that it is beginning to affect the prospect of a successful mortgage application for a house of any value.
An investigation by the Guardian newspaper has found that various lenders are not willing to accept Universal Credit as proof of earnings during the submission process, leaving many potential house buyers in a state of limbo ahead of its planned full implementation over the next few years.
Many experts have echoed the sentiments of these claimants, stating that there have been enough issues from the relatively small pool of 600,000 citizens upon which Universal Credit is being tested to warrant a suspension of the scheme – and that any plans to widen its application would likely end in disaster.
While certain lenders are willing to incorporate the scheme’s ‘earnings’ into their application process, the path to achieving this is littered with obstacles that prevent it. Moreover, in many cases mortgage applicants have found, mid-process, that the amount they are able to secure has been halved upon the lenders discovering their Universal Credit status, thwarting their plans to become homeowners.
For those who already own a home in areas where Universal Credit is currently implemented, fears are growing that if they need to sell their house fast, the inability of potential buyers to secure the capital they need to purchase will lead to a stagnant market, forcing the seller to reduce their asking price if they wish to complete on a sale in the short-term. While venders do have the option of using house buying companies such as National Homebuyers, who are willing to make substantial cash offers on any home, regardless of location or situation, there are fears that the those living in poverty will end up being deprived of their one chance to buy a home.
Need a quick sale? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Rental rates continue to rise as cheap housing remains unaffordable
As rising house prices continue to prevent younger, less wealthy buyers from purchasing, landlords have been capitalising on the situation by acquiring cheaper homes and enjoying consistently rising rental rates.
One of the greatest difficulties experienced by prospective buyers in rented accommodation is the ability to raise the necessary deposit for a mortgage. Unfortunately, thanks to the ever-increasing margin between rising house prices and low wage increases, the finances of many new buyers fail to measure up – and with rising rental fees, they often find themselves trapped in rented accommodation for much longer than expected.
The resulting state of affairs has left potential first-time buyers with no choice but to compete with wealthier landlords and those further up on the property ladder in an effort to secure a ready-built starter home.
During a sale, a vender always intends to make a profit on their house, and consequently there is very little first-time buyers can do to encourage them to accept a lower offer – even if they need to sell their house fast. To salve the situation, the government has made numerous promises to increase the number of new build estates with a pre-determined number of units to be sold as ‘affordable housing’. However, thanks to a weakened economy, the falling value of the pound sterling as well as a shortage of capital, the government have so far failed to live up to their word.
For investors, the rental market is a blessing in its current form. Despite the fact that more homes are available for purchase, the inability of first-time buyers to successfully apply for a mortgage allows landlords to snap up a large amount of available housing – housing which is then renovated before being let to those who had previously hoped to buy.
“Some experts believed the supply of rental properties would fall this year due to economic and political concerns,” said Allison Thompson, managing director at Leaders.
“But this has certainly proved not to be the case. In fact, supply is growing in all regions across the country and high tenant demand for all types of properties means rental prices are also on the up, providing landlords with a golden opportunity to benefit from more people looking for rented accommodation and a booming market that allows them to enjoy a significant return on investment.”
Sadly, government efforts to slow down the house price increases that are preventing a large percentage of the population from gaining a foothold on the property ladder have, so far, failed to provide any form of relief for those stuck in the rental trap, and landlords continue to turn a substantial profit.
However, it isn’t just first-time buyers that are losing out, as vendors across the country are finding it progressively harder to find a buyer for their house and, as a result, end up waiting for months for a reasonable offer that never materialises before lowering their asking price in order to encourage a sale.
Worried that your home won’t sell? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Retired sellers hoping to downsize unable to find younger buyers
As the cost of living for younger generations continues to grow, older homeowners who need to downsize are finding themselves unable to find a buyer with the necessary financial resources.
For many millennials, hearing the constant tirade from older generations about how they complain too much and “don’t know the meaning of a hard day’s work” helps to illustrate how little empathy many older people have regarding the cost of living for young people today.
In return, younger people often draw attention to the fact that many baby-boomers enjoyed a care-free existence in a thriving economy – voting for long-term investment gains that benefitted themselves as opposed to long-term stability for future generations. The British youth also feel the lack of sympathy they receive in regard to their inability to save money stems from the fact that many older individuals have never felt the negative impact of this societal shift in their own lives.
However, a growing number of those in retirement age are beginning to see the plight of the youth now that they are choosing to downsize their homes and are failing to find buyers who can afford them.
In many ways, the decrease in the number of UK homeowners is indicative of a country that fails to invest in the areas that need it most. After all, if an economy is powered by the expenditure of its population on goods and services – how is the economy supposed to grow if the majority of residents are only spending their hard-earned cash on rent?
Have things changed that much?
By the time they reached 45, 70% of all baby boomers were registered homeowners – whereas less than half of all millennials are likely to achieve the same. In fact, there has been a 7% drop in the total number of homeowners in the UK since 2003 alone.
With today’s living costs accounting for three times the proportion of earnings needed in the 1960s, and more than double the number of residents living in rented accommodation – the cost of which, incidentally, has risen by 15% in the last six years alone – is it so shocking that younger generations cannot afford the homes that the elderly wish to sell?
Sadly, the bad news doesn’t stop there. Today, the average cost of a deposit is over £32,000, and even if young couples with children are able to save the required amount of money to qualify for a mortgage, they are penalised for having children in the first place, as lenders believe that increasing childcare costs could hamper their ability to meet the required monthly repayments.
So what options are there for older individuals who cannot find a buyer for their home?
If an individual of retirement age needs to sell their house fast due to health issues or would simply prefer to be closer to family, they can consider renting their home out and use the income as a pension. Unfortunately, the majority of people who currently rent are doing so because they can’t afford a home themselves, and as a result, are less likely to be able to afford the rental fees for a large prestigious house.
They can stay put, and hope that in the future the economy will recover to a point that younger generations will have enough disposable income that they could make an offer – but given the current shape of the economy, this is unlikely to happen any time soon.
Luckily, there are house buying companies such as National Homebuyers who are willing to buy any house for cash at competitive prices, regardless of situation or location. And with a sale often completed within seven days, older homeowners are able to downsize without the stress often associated with the traditional selling process.
Hoping to downsize as soon as possible? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
How to sell your house without an estate agent
Selling a house can be a stressful experience. Even so, more and more sellers are choosing to decline the use of an agent in favour of more profitable options.
For the majority of people looking to sell their house fast, the use of an estate agent seems like a great idea. While agents do take a cut of the profits, many sellers prefer to avoid the stress of self-marketing and will happily pay to avoid the headaches.
However, with the advent of numerous online property portals; the increased ability to reach a wider audience of potential buyers through social media; and the ability to cut down on expenses – as a seller, you may find yourself wondering whether it’s possible to learn how to sell your house without an agent.
It is, however, important to realise that in most cases, managing your own sale requires a great deal of time and devotion, as well as being ‘available’ 24/7 to take calls regarding offers and general enquiries.
In this blog, we will be looking at the most popular methods you could employ when setting out to discover how to sell your house yourself.
Make your house sellable
As with all planned property transactions, a buyer is less likely to buy if they view a house that is unkempt and messy. When you use an estate agent, you can often gain pointers from their sales specialists with regard to making your house marketable. When you decide to shoulder the responsibility yourself however, you need to make the judgement calls on your own. Luckily, there are a huge number of internet-based resources that can help you bring your house up to showroom quality.
Once your house is in tip-top shape, consider employing the services of a professional photographer to take the marketing pictures. Photos taken by amateurs often stand out a mile in listings by making your home look ‘cheap’ and claustrophobic – whereas a professional, by comparison, can make your home look open, palatial and desirable.
How to sell your house yourself
No matter which method you choose, it’s always important to learn the value of your home. Set the asking price too low, and you risk losing a vast amount of your investment – set the asking price too high, and you risk deterring potential buyers and finding yourself waiting a long time for the possibility of a sale.
In these situations, it’s always a great idea to employ an RICS-accredited surveyor to carry out a valuation. With a much lower price than a homebuyer’s report, a valuation is an important step in finding out how to sell your house without an agent.
Choosing the right path
Many vendors choose to employ the services of auction houses in an effort to sell fast. However, it’s important to remember that most buyers at auctions are there because they’re looking for a bargain. While unusual homes and derelict houses at the lower end of the scale tend to make the seller (and auctioneer) a lot of money, an average standard house is liable to perform less well during the bidding process.
Even if you set your reserve price at the price point advised by your surveyor, many auctioneers will forgo the chance of including your home in their auction if they feel the price won’t entice enough potential buyers. It’s also worth remembering that auctioneers make a great deal of money in commission from both the seller and the buyer if the property sells – and even if your house does not sell during the auction, you would still liable for the attached administration fees.
Luckily, there are alternatives. Online property portals such as Purplebricks or Tepilo offer you the chance to sell your home through their websites at a fixed fee, rather than a percentage-based fee with an agent. However, as with many great offers, there are strings attached.
Many property portals require you to use their services for valuations – services that have, on many occasions, required additional fees. There have also been numerous complaints against Purplebricks that have been upheld by the advertising watchdog regarding misleading marketing claims. For example, the obscuration of the fact that the fixed fee itself is payable whether or not your house manages to sell, and their 2016 claim to save a vendor an average of £4,158 in fees versus standard estate agents, which was heavily criticised due to the fact that the claim was based on commission figures published five years previously.
Ultimately, any company that is willing to help you sell your house is doing so with the aim of making a profit – and so it is up to the client to read the small print before deciding to sign on the dotted line.
If you wish to find out how to sell your house yourself without having to deal with additional commission fees, there are better options, and these are house buying companies.
Companies such as National Homebuyers offer you the chance to sell your home in as little as seven days – great for those who need to move house fast due to a change in personal circumstances. With a small upfront fee that is refunded upon completion of the sale, National Homebuyers will buy any house for cash, regardless of condition or location for a competitive price – even offering the seller additional financial support to cover any legal fees associated with the sale.
With an ever-increasing number of satisfied customers, why not make an enquiry and see how easy the house selling process can be?
Prefer to avoid estate agents? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Lengthier mortgage terms on the rise for potential buyers
As properties become less affordable for prospective buyers, the number of applications for 35-year mortgages are increasing dramatically.
For many first-time buyers in today’s housing market, the ability to secure a mortgage by raising the necessary funds for a deposit is considered a major triumph. However, with ever-increasing prices, the crowning achievement of becoming a homeowner is slowly turning into a pyrrhic victory.
For decades, the longest mortgage term for the majority of buyers stood at 25 years, with many new owners opting for even shorter terms. For those in low paying jobs, however, certain banks began offering potential purchasers the option of a 35-year mortgage in an effort to encourage borrowing and further their profits.
As late as 2006, the percentage of mortgages with 35-year terms still stood at a minimal 13.8%. But by 2016, that number had sky-rocketed to a shocking 30% according to new figures released by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Freedom of Information Act,
Experts within the industry believe that this research reinforces the idea that home ownership is becoming an increasingly exclusive club. And even those who are able to buy are finding themselves at a marked financial disadvantage compared to those who bought a decade previously.
The issue is not just isolated to first-time buyers either. More than seven in ten mortgage brokers have disclosed that there has been a stark increase in demand for 35-year loans in recent years.
On average, the percentage of all mortgages with a 35-year term across the country reached 13.5% in 2016, an increase of 9.7% since 2006.
“The majority of brokers (62%) and lenders (68%) agree that longer term mortgages are an essential option for aspiring homeowners and would argue that this is a response to reality and remains responsible lending,” said Peter Williams, executive director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association.
“However, this in no way lets the government off the hook in needing to act swiftly to address the housing crisis.”
Due to a lack of new-build homes, high purchase prices and minimal wage growth, these figures suggest that the housing market could ultimately reach a point in the future where it is inaccessible to potential first-time buyers.
This is also bad news for any current homeowners who are looking to sell their house fast, as any reduction in the number of new buyers entering the market limits the likelihood of an efficient sale within a reasonable timeframe, and this subsequent lack of activity could conceivably lead to a weakened economy.
Need to sell? Fast? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Bank of mum and dad now covering rent payments
As the affordability of buying a house continues to decrease, new research has shown that younger people are now finding it just as hard to afford rental payments without parental aid.
For years now, parents have been helping their offspring to gain a foothold on the property ladder by helping to pay for the necessary deposit. As a result, the government has come under fire numerous times from both younger generations who would relish the opportunity to buy houses without additional help, and from older generations who find themselves having to work for longer in order to help their children afford the aforementioned down-payment.
However, while many within the property industry have been waiting for wages to go up in order for housing to become more affordable, new figures released by Legal & General have shown that the situation has become even worse – with parental donations now extending to covering their children’s rent.
For those who are still wondering whether they will ever be able to afford a home, the mere fact that it is 2017 and a large number of young people are having to borrow from their parents just to keep a roof over their head must feel nothing short of devastating.
This year alone, the bank of mum and dad have been responsible for £2.3 billion worth of rent payments across the UK, and when this is combined with £6.5 billion they are paying towards their children’s deposits and mortgage repayments, it certainly begs the question, how much worse can it get?
Even for young homeowners who are already on the property ladder, worries are being compounded by the possibility of negative equity if their worst fears are realised once Brexit is completed – making many question the intrinsic value of their house.
“The lack of affordable housing, low wage growth relative to inflation and burdens of student debt mean that many kids can’t even rent somewhere without significant contributions from their family,” said Dan Batterton, a fund manager at Legal & General.
“Parents want to help their kids get on in life, and the bank of mum and dad is a testament to their generosity.”
The greatest issue for the majority of the public is the knock-on effect from this research, as established homeowners who need to sell their house fast are finding that without a vast reduction in their asking prices, they are unable to sell in the desired short time-frame due to a lack of buyers.
With millennials paying on average over £44,000 more in rent by the age of 30 than those in the baby boomer generation, for those looking to escape the rent-trap the light at the end of the tunnel is getting dimmer by the day.
Failing to attract buyers? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
First homes becoming a distant dream for younger generations
The recent English Housing Survey carried out by the UK government has painted a truly depressing picture for prospective house buyers across the country, as the true scale of rising property prices is revealed.
As younger generations slowly begin to increase their proportion of the UK population, we have begun to see more and more stories regarding the difficult task of securing a first home.
For the last 15 years, many older generations have been quick to designate young people as ‘lazy’ and ‘unwilling to put in the work’ for their inability to afford a property. However, as a growing number of millennials reach the age at which it was once customary to look for a house of their own, reality has started to rear its ugly head.
Once upon a time, buying a home as a single person in their early twenties on an average salary was almost considered a rite of passage. With high wages and low property values, an easily affordable two-bed ‘starter’ home helped first-time buyers to find their feet in an increasingly fast-paced world and help their wealth grow.
Flash-forward a generation, and that same single person on an average salary could not even conceive of such a purchase. In fact, the recent survey carried out on behalf of the government has found that most first-time buyers are in their mid-thirties, and 74% of those individuals have only managed to raise the necessary deposit if they are in a couple and are able to combine their incomes.
In the late 90s, there were on average 922,000 first-time purchases per year – today, that number lies around 675,000. Furthermore, the number of first-time buyers aged 16-24 has dropped by more than half. For older homeowners who need to sell their house fast, this is bad news, as fewer potential buyers are able to enter the market place.
Pulling the trigger?
Of course, with a country currently facing a long period of uncertainty due to the falling value of the pound along with an unclear path through the triggering of Article 50, many younger people are weary of purchasing a home in the next few years due to the off-chance that they will find themselves in negative equity if fears regarding the failing state of the economy continue to be realised.
For the average young person, unless they have managed to find themselves working in a field that pays high wages, the future remains bleak as it becomes clearer that upward social mobility is becoming increasingly unlikely, and taxes continue to be directed towards supporting the pensions of those generations who enjoyed the post-WW2 economic boom.
As always, the answer lies in the construction of more freehold new-build estates, and an economic revolution that provides the opportunity for higher wage growth, not just in the capital but across the whole of the UK.
“Today’s English Housing Survey is a stark reminder of our national housing crisis,” said Debbie Larner from the Chartered Institute of Housing.
“’Affordable housing is increasingly out of reach for millions of people all over the country.”
Can’t find a buyer? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Mortgage approvals fall to nine-month low
Mortgage approval figures have fallen for the ninth month in a row, as inflation, rising house prices and wage stagnation continue to blight the housing industry.
Many within the housing industry are at odds with one another with regards to the new figures released by the UK trade body UK Finance.
The report has detailed that as of June, gross mortgage borrowing has continued to rise – 6% higher than the same time in 2016 – but the number of mortgage approvals have slipped for the ninth month in a row.
With low interest rates, mortgage providers are currently offering excellent deals on fixed-rate deals, and these packages have been designed to tempt potential homebuyers into pulling the trigger while the market seems buoyant.
However, the stark difference between the increase in total mortgage borrowing and decrease in mortgage approvals have given experts much cause for concern.
Representatives from various lenders have been quick to thank the ‘resilient’ housing market for the increase in money borrowed. They are, however, failing to realise the dangers of a reduction in the number of transactions and what this could mean for the industry in the future.
The economic squeeze
With the outcome of Brexit hanging over the heads of the British population, combined with the high rates of inflation reducing the value of the pound, it seems that for now at least, UK consumers are choosing to bide their time when it comes to large purchases such as homes and cars.
“The fundamentals for house buyers are likely to remain weak over the coming months with consumers’ purchasing power continuing to be squeezed by inflation running higher than earnings growth,” said Howard Archer, chief economic advisor for EY Item Club.
“It is also very possible that the labour market will increasingly falter despite its current resilience.”
Moreover, it’s not just the total mortgage borrowing rates that have increased, as credit card borrowing has also increased by 5.5% over the past year.
These divisive figures make it clear from a macro perspective that a large proportion of the British public are being forced to borrow money for purchases that just ten years ago could be afforded through everyday savings.
But what about those who wish to sell their house fast?
In the near future at least, current homeowners are finding themselves having to stay-put unless the move is unavoidable.
With falling levels of mortgage approvals and ever-increasing house prices in a world where wages are failing to match up, those who need to sell may have to prepare themselves for a long wait as the pool of available buyers continues to dry up.
Need a quick house sale? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Number of hopeful first-time buyers living with parents is on the rise
With no other option, potential buyers from younger generations have found themselves having to move back into their parents’ homes to generate the necessary income for a deposit.
There’s no doubt in the current economic climate that it’s tough for those looking to buy their first home. With high prices and low wages, it can sometimes feel like you’re standing at the bottom of a towering mountain with little hope of ever reaching the summit.
The obvious response to this situation for potential buyers is to limit their expenses, and according to new research by Aldermore Bank, many are opting to move back in with their parents to save the necessary cash.
With figures from 2016 showing that 25% of all purchases by UK home buyers now involve the bank of mum and dad to some extent (pumping some £5 billion into the market), it’s clear that young generations are still desperate for help.
The greatest issue, however, is that returning to live with one another once again now that all members of the household are adults means that both parties have to deal with a negative fallout from both a financial and emotional standpoint, and therein lies the problem.
For the children, now adults, having to move back into their parent’s homes has left them experiencing feelings of failure and self-resentment, while their parents have to deal with increasing demands on their household budget, and an inability to enjoy their later years the way they had planned.
Many families have found that the new living arrangements have created a decline in life satisfaction and a damaged emotional bond between parent and child.
The extra costs alone add up to an average of £4,996 for mum and dad per year, and this is hampering their ability to realistically save enough for their pension in later life.
“Our report reveals just how difficult this can be to navigate, with a real impact not just on parent’s finances but also on the relationship with their children and their own ability to save,” said Charles McDowell, commercial director for mortgages at Aldermore.
“Furthermore, as parents are less able to save for their retirement, more people will require help to unlock the value held within their property in later life. This is an intergenerational problem that goes beyond the simple view of the Bank of Mum and Dad.”
Industry experts believe that without a substantial investment into the housing industry for new-builds or the appointment of a new housing minister who truly understands the scale of the problem, the crisis will not only affect younger generations, but also those who are looking to sell their house fast in order to downsize during old age.
Worried about being able to sell? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
First-time buyers’ hopes of purchasing a home are slipping away
Younger buyers are losing out on gaining a foothold on the property ladder due to a lack of protection from unsuccessful purchases and ever-rising costs associated with moving home – which, of course, is also bad news for sellers.
For many young people, owning a house can seem little more than a pipe dream, given the current state of the property market.
Looking back merely 20 years at how affordable housing could be for a first-time buyer would undoubtedly have today’s youth tearing their hair out in envy. It is, perhaps, no surprise to learn that those aged 18-34 now consider buying a home to be of greater importance than providing for the elderly, or even enjoying lower energy prices.
New research by the consumer body Which? has found that the current outdated home-buying process is greatly flawed, and even those who do have the necessary resources have awoken to the worrying fact that three in ten house purchases are falling through – often at great expense to the potential buyer.
As a result, Which? Has discovered that an in-depth assessment and update of the way homes are bought and sold will be a key factor for many voters who are on the fence with regards to which political party they will support in future elections.
The greatest issue for those hoping to buy in the UK unlike many other countries within the EU is the ability for the seller to withdraw their property from sale at any point until the final contracts are signed.
Saddled with the high costs of solicitor and agent fees, buyers lose an average of £2,200 whenever a sale falls through – and with no legal framework to protect their investment in the process, a botched sale can set plans to own a home back by years.
While this may like an isolated issue for younger people, the knock-on effects are often detrimental to the industry as a whole.
The property industry consistently needs new investment to remain buoyant, and so is heavily dependent on first-time buyers joining the national pool of homeowners, as those who already own will often need a prospective buyer to purchase their home in order to move themselves.
The issue is even more bothersome for those of working age who need to sell their house fast for a new job, or to upsize for their families – as the process can be dragged out for months with very little interest from potential purchasers.
The problem is also compounded by the increasing fees associated with moving house, with research by Post Office Money discovering that the total cost of moving fees has risen to as high as £9,500 – 25 per cent higher than a decade ago.
Need to sell fast? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
How long does it take to complete a house sale after an accepted offer?
Whether you’re buying or selling, the length of time it can take to finalise a sale can vary wildly no matter who you are. So, what are the key influences for speed in the house-buying process?
Often, when you’re looking to buy or sell a house, it can feel as if you are out in the wilderness waiting for updates from conveyancers, estate agents and solicitors. We often hear about nightmare scenarios where buyers are waiting months for the paperwork to be finalised, but it’s important not to get discouraged – these things can take a while.
In reality, there are several factors that can influence the speed with which a sale can be completed, and we shall go into more detail regarding these below.
As simple as it sounds, if you’re trying to find out how long it takes to complete a house sale, then it may be worth looking at customer reviews for the services you’re using. The success of many solicitors and estate agents is thanks to their ability to communicate with one another regularly. For every agent or legal mind who is on the ball and makes it their focus to complete as soon as possible, there is another who is only interested in ‘making the sale’, and not necessarily aiding the buyer or seller thereafter.
Thanks to sites such as Trustpilot as well as local word-of-mouth, it can be very easy to compare customer experiences with different professionals and you should factor this into your decision.
Know your enemy
It is also a great idea to learn, where possible, as much as you can about the other party who you are either selling to, or buying from. There are many people who enter the sales process who end up withdrawing due to various reasons – leaving the other party at a financial disadvantage. There are also many sellers who are well known for messing others around in the past, and these people tend to be known to local estate agents for their lack of reliability – if this is the case, avoid the property like the plague.
Waiting on the mortgage
It is important to note that while you are in the midst of a house sale, different stages of the process take different amounts of time. Waiting for a mortgage approval can in some cases take up to eight weeks – but once approved, the rest of the sale can be a mad scramble and be completed in a little over a fortnight.
Chain and restrained?
Whether or not the house you’re looking to buy is in a chain is a key dynamic in determining how long it takes to complete a house sale. If you are in a desperate need to sell your house fast and move to a new abode in a shorter time-frame, then the term ‘no chain’ should be your primary focus when viewing listings. No chain means that the person whose property you wish to buy has either already moved out, or is ready to move house upon completion – and this is a sure-fire way to ensure a quick move.
When there is a chain, it is less simple to determine the timeframe for the completion. Some house sales can have a chain of 11-12 homes, and these have been known to take between 3-4 months to sort out as a dozen different agents and solicitors wait for the relevant paperwork to be exchanged.
In a perfect scenario, how long would it take to complete a house sale?
In a flawless transfer of ownership, where all parties provide one another with consistent updates and there is no chain of which to be mindful, a sale can take as little as six weeks for keys to change hands.
To give yourself the best chance of a fast house sale, learn from those who have been through the process before:
- Ensure you have valid proof of earnings available for lenders when the mortgage application is on the horizon.
- Ensure that the legal minds and agents you hire to help you complete the sale are well known for their customer service.
- Try to learn as much as possible about the people you are selling to, or buying from.
- Most importantly, learn to accept that things never go exactly to plan, and that you shouldn’t blame yourself or lose hope.
Is Manchester the new London?
As companies and young professionals turn away from the capital and head towards Manchester, the large northern city is seeing the creation of its own property bubble.
For years now, the media has been awash with stories discussing the rise of house prices in London and how more and more people are forced to commute to its centre from its periphery. We all know why – and that’s because of the growing gap between wages and property prices.
In these reports, London is often compared with northern cities such as Liverpool and Manchester where living costs are generally lower and the standard of life on a lower income is much higher… but something strange has started happening over the last decade. The percentage of home ownership in Manchester dropped from 72% in April 2003 to 58% in February 2016 – a staggering drop of 14%.
This situation has led to many property buying experts scratching their heads trying to figure out what is going on. According to Rightmove, the online property portal, the majority of sales for the previous year were not houses, but flats – with many buyers being young professionals who are forgoing the chance of having a family to focus on their careers. And with the 2011 census showing a decline of households based around families in the city, the need for a large house is unnecessary.
The interesting part is that most of the young professionals in Manchester are still renting properties due to its large graduate population, with a 14% increase in the number of renters since 2003. While this situation should ultimately lead to house prices dropping as demand plunges, Manchester may simply become the next London – due to its ever-increasing population – with foreign investors driving prices up even further.
Worryingly for those looking to move to Manchester, the aforementioned outcome is becoming increasingly likely, with large businesses foregoing the capital in favour of cheaper land and commercial property in the north. Examples include the BBC’s highly publicised move to Salford.
“Manchester city centre had a few thousand people living there a decade ago,” said Dave Power, chief executive of housing association One Manchester.
“That is now tens of thousands, mostly in private rented sector properties reflecting probably the younger population, which has joined Manchester through digital and business jobs.”
For those looking for a fast house sale in the city, options are looking decidedly grim. This is not an issue for vendors who are willing to wait to sell – but there are people who need to move urgently and are facing a huge loss just to sell their house. Luckily, there are property buying companies who buy any home for cash with exceptional customer service, to lend a helping hand.
Worried you’ll lose money on your home? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Escaping bad neighbours can be a costly process
We’re always told to ensure our own house is in excellent condition if we’re looking to sell, but some aspects out of our control can affect the value of our homes, too – and one of those is having a bad neighbour.
Everyone remembers hearing about that ‘bad neighbour’ growing up… the one that your parents claimed never took pride in their garden, or the state of their home. And no doubt most of us have had to deal with that neighbour who thinks it’s socially acceptable to play music at full blast late at night.
What’s more, surely everyone can relate to a homeowner who has found themselves living next door to that neighbour with a ‘little Englander’ mindset, who enjoys making the lives of everyone around them that little bit worse by poking their nose in where it doesn’t belong.
The natural approach would be to move to a new home where you no longer have to deal with such nonsense, but in a survey by Privilege Home Insurance, 92% of estate agents claimed that the difference in value between a home with a good neighbour and a bad neighbour is as great as £37,000 – which can make it very difficult to move on.
Property selling experts looked at both maintenance-based and personality-based aspects of what most people would consider ‘a bad neighbour’, then ranked them in terms of their effects on value.
For maintenance, the greatest loss of value was thanks to broken or boarded up windows, closely followed by badly constructed or unsightly extensions or DIY attempts. In terms of personality, the greatest complaints were related to neighbours being too noisy, closely followed by having an unfriendly or antisocial attitude.
“Our increasingly hectic lives can mean that household maintenance falls to the bottom of the priorities list – especially for busy families,” said Dan Simson, head of Privilege Home Insurance.
“Yet this study shows that a poorly kept home can affect not just the value of your own property, but the value of those around you too.”
The issue of bad neighbours is not a new problem, but for those who want to sell their homes fast, the effect these people can have on the value of your home can be devastating, as it can take forever to find a buyer. For property buying companies however, this is not an issue as they will purchase any home in any condition for cash regardless of the proximity to bad neighbours.
Worried that neighbours are affecting the value of your home? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Buyers tend to use their nose before their brain
New research has shown that potential buyers are missing out on bargains by losing enthusiasm for a property if it doesn’t seem pristine.
When any of us visit a new home, one of the first things we always notice is the smell. Different people live in different ways and this can seriously affect a home’s appeal to a potential buyer. New research released by Principality Building Society has found that 54% of buyers would ignore a property if there’s a hint of a bad smell.
This is perhaps unsurprising – the sense of smell is one of the strongest tools for regressing memories in the human mind, so it only makes sense (pardon the pun) that certain smells have a negative stigma associated with them, for many people. There are also smells that can never be removed without extensive levels of remodelling and new flooring – animal urine being a prime example.
Interestingly enough, the survey of over 2,000 people also found that 30% of those questioned would be dissuaded from buying a property if the walls were dirty, and 25% if the carpets had been sullied.
In a world where daytime television is awash with programmes about DIY and house-purchasing, it is staggering that the majority of people are not able to look past the grime and see potential, rather than pollution.
“With so many first time buyers hopeful to get on the housing ladder, as a nation we need to look past the decorative issues a house might have and see its true potential,” said Julie-Ann Haines, customer director at Principality Building Society.
“First-time buyers shouldn’t worry about carpet stains or bad smells which can be easily cleaned or removed at an affordable price, but see beyond the décor which might not be to your taste anyway. After all, our own personal touches are really what make our house a home.”
For many vendors, a strange smell can stretch out the selling process for an unacceptable length of time, but luckily house buying companies are willing to buy any house for cash at competitive prices, especially if the owner is looking for a fast house sale.
Could ‘Pokemon Go’ Soon Help You Sell Your House
On 14th July 2106 “Pokemon Go”, a mobile game that has become a global phenomenon, was finally released in the UK and don’t we know it. You can’t look at your social media feed or news sources without being inundated with stories of Pokemon hunters and silly people playing the game while not being aware of their surroundings.
The game itself – just in case you may have missed all the recent media – uses a smartphone’s GPS location and real-world maps to track players as they move around their real world environment. Players can capture Pokemon along your journeys, visit Pokestops – typically landmarks or buildings – and collect free items in the game.
“Pokemon Go” – created by Niantic and The Pokemon Company – is aimed at the younger generation but this hasn’t stopped hoards of adults downloading the app and taking up the craze.
So what has this got to do with the property market? Why is National Homebuyers giving me information about a kids game? Well, it does not take a teenager to see the potential value to property sellers this new game app has in helping to sell properties. Having a “Pokemon Go” gym or lots of Pokestops nearby could become a feature of a house.
When trying to sell a house the goal is to get as many people to view a property as possible and interested in the house so ultimately if there are Pokemon gyms nearby or a high stock of Pokemon in the area then the house could appeal to a Pokemon-obsessed individual. In the UK the new craze is still in its infancy as it has only just been launched but in the USA, where is has been available for longer, people are already using this game to help sell their homes.
National Homebuyers has discovered that featured on Zillow, which is a US online real estate company similar to Rightmove here in the UK, is a property for sale in Redmond, Washington, which as well as listing the usually details for a house also states that the house has a “Pokemon Go” gym less than five minutes away.
There is also another property on the same website that says their house benefits from “3 Pokemon Go Gyms, and 5 Pokestops. They go on into more detail stating that there has been a confirmed Squirtle sighting in the house back garden backyard, and there is possibly a Charizard lvl 7 in the next door neighbours shed.
I can imagine it won’t be too long before people in the UK start doing the something and informing people that their house is actually a Pokemon gym, if they haven’t started too already.
Niantic – the company behind the game – has already said that it plans to start selling locations in its augmented reality, and users can already use temporary “lures” to attract other people to their areas. So it won’t be too long until you can pay to add features to your property in the “Pokemon Go” world making it more appealing to buyers who play the game in the real world. Let’s wait and see what happens. Is this game just a passing trend or a long-term creation of any alternative world?
But all this could be bad news for some house owners because they may not have any “Pokemon Go” features nearby which in the future may prevent people from buying that particular house. But do not threat or fear if you find yourself in this predicament because here at National Homebuyers we buy any house regardless of whether it has nearby “Pokemon Go” features or not. We don’t care if Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Wartorle, Charmander, Charmeleon, Jirachi, Absol, Keldeo or any other Pokemon character does not grace your area, we will buy it regardless.
National Homebuyers would just like to point out that if you do become one of the many people who are playing this new game please remember to be safe and alert at all times, don’t drive and play, respect the locations you visit and people you meet during your exploration.
The quiet struggle of purchasing your second home
While buying a flat may seem like a great idea for getting a foot on the property ladder, many first-time owners who are looking to upgrade to a house are finding the experience harder than expected.
We often hear about the difficulty first-time buyers have in buying their first home – the struggle of raising funds for a deposit; the fears of not qualifying for the necessary mortgage loan; and the stress of qualifying for affordable interest rates. For many first-time buyers in city central locations, the answer is simple – buy a flat. Generally more affordable and easier to maintain, flats have often been used by buyers as a way to escape the rent-trap, but with many young couples looking to start a family, the average flat soon becomes decidedly small.
Of course, the simple answer to the issue is to move to a larger property – maybe a house with a garden so the kids have somewhere to play on a hot summer’s day – but as many flat-owners are beginning to find out, the switch may not be as easy as they thought.
New research by uSwitch.com (the comparison service) has found that those who bought a flat as a first-time buyer are at a distinct disadvantage versus those who chose a house.
Over the past decade, uSwitch has found out that whereas the average house has increased by 20% in value, the average flat has only risen by 15%, creating an affordability margin that is simply too wide to overcome for those without the necessary funds. With property buying experts noting that certain areas of the UK are experiencing a margin of 16% between the values of houses and flats, it is clear that many flat-owners are not benefiting from their investment as much as they thought they would.
“Second steppers have been lulled into a false sense of security by rising house prices,” said Tashema Jackson of uSwitch.
“In some parts of the country, houses have far outstripped flats in price, so if you are looking to move up the property ladder you need to carefully plot your next steps.”
It isn’t just flats that are failing to provide a decent investment return either, with shared ownership properties also coming up short despite requiring very little input of equity from the buyer. For those who managed to buy a house as their first home, the future is a little rosier, and the ability to move up the property ladder is a little easier – especially if they are in need of a fast house sale. With property buying companies offering to purchase homes for cash directly without the hassle of dealing with estate agents, many are finding the purchase of their second home a more straightforward affair.
Need to sell your house fast? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property
Location, location, location… how in-demand is your area?
With better transport links and increased investment from large companies, Rightmove has seen a huge increase in searches for certain locations that offer all of the benefits of larger commercial cities, with none of the drawbacks.
When moving house, it’s fair to say that many people look to purchase in the same area within which they lived previously. There is however, a rising number of UK homebuyers with plans to move to locales which offer a better deal in terms of investment. So where do they tend to focus their efforts? Online property giant Rightmove has recently carried out research into the most-searched locations around the UK – and some are quite surprising.
Many believe that the capital’s housing bubble is set to burst, with skyrocketing prices and a limited selection of properties available for purchase… and for the financially savvy, the idea of moving to a commuter town seems a very attractive prospect. This is aided by the government’s increased investment in high-speed rail links that are cutting commuting times to a minimum, allowing many London workers to live in more affordable areas. Towns such as Milton Keynes have seen a huge increase in popularity in recent years, thanks to a large selection of schools, shops and amenities, as well as the number of large companies establishing their headquarters within its boundaries.
The story is similar for Cambridge, which many biotech companies have chosen to call home thanks to its excellent transport links – not to mention the increasing overseas investment in new-build housing. Of course, for many buyers, the historical significance of the city is reason enough to consider starting afresh. Norwich is another city benefiting from a fast commute to the capital – and with the average home selling for half the price of Cambridge, and a third of the price of the average London home, it’s not hard to see why.
However, many places are seeing increased interest regardless of links to the South East – towns such as Harrogate, which has been named as the happiest place in the UK three years in a row and offers historic buildings, a bustling high street and a number of schools with high reputations, like Harrogate Grammar School and St. Aidens.
It’s the same case in cities such as York and Sheffield, where the industrial history of the north has been modernised with mills and factories being converted into affordable apartment complexes. With major commercial cities such as Liverpool and Manchester a short train ride away, it’s a no-brainer for the average buyer looking for an affordable property in a beautiful area.
For those looking to sell their home fast in these areas, it’s great news – multiple offers are driving up prices, allowing for larger profits on even smaller properties. Unfortunately, this also means that there are areas that are failing to garner interest from buyers due to poor locations and crime rates, causing many vendors to worry about losing money on their homes. Luckily, for those looking for a quick house sale, property buying companies are willing to buy these homes for cash at competitive prices without having to use an estate agent.
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