What are the costs of selling a home?

What are the costs of selling a home?  

For those who have little experience in selling a house, learning about the additional costs that are often associated with the process can turn the situation into a cost-prohibitive nightmare. But what are the costs of selling a home?

What costs are involved with selling a home? ­­­­­

There are three main costs that most vendors will find themselves being responsible for before a sale can take place.

Of course, depending on the circumstances there are likely to be other charges that are entirely dependent upon your situation but nearly all sellers will find themselves enlisting the services of the following:

An estate agent will be the first port of call for many sellers, acting as a hub of information in an effort to guide you through the house-selling process2. While estate agents tend not to be thought of very highly by many – due to the publicity surrounding the immoral behaviour of a small percentage of agents who try to make a quick buck – the majority of agents are trustworthy individuals who specialise in helping venders sell their home fast in their chosen area3.

While there are numerous national agencies who offer ‘region-specific’ representatives who are marketed as experts, it can often be very hard to prove the credentials of these individuals- whereas most local independent agents have managed to stay in business over the years due to a strong reputation and repeated recommendations within the local community2.

Estate agents are used by over 95% of sellers2 and are – more often than not – paid by the seller as a percentage of the selling fee, usually between 0.75% and 2.5% (plus VAT), but usually around 1.5% (plus VAT) 1. So, for a £150,000 house, the fee would be £2,250.

This system works well for agents and sellers alike as the less valuable a house is, the cheaper the estate agent fee. This approach is made all the more intriguing thanks to the prevalence of agents today who will only charge a vender if an actual sale is achieved1.

Of course, no buyer in their right mind would consider buying a house unless they had access to the full legal details of the house. This is why buyers will always find themselves contacting a solicitor or conveyancer, who are able to carry out searches for legal documentation that will help them to buy with confidence4.

As a seller, however, you will also need to pay legal fees to a legal representative to make sure that there the sale is carried out in the correct manner5. Conveyancing, however, is an extremely competitive sector and there have, in recent years, been a rising number of complaints from consumers regarding both the level of honesty and quality of service provided by less reputable firms1.

An independent property expert is likely to advise you to contact an independent solicitor or conveyancer directly, not to solely rely on the advice of a lender or estate agents5. While it is a grey area from a legal perspective, there are many examples of companies providing kickbacks to one another in an effort to corner the market6.

Once hired, a solicitor or conveyancer will guide you through the following documentation once you have accepted an offer on your home:

  • The TA6 form that will detail all an information that could affect the value of the property in the future including contact details, boundaries, disputes, complaints, proposed developments and existing utility access7.
  • The preparation of information related to the status of the title-deed – i.e. whether it is freehold or leasehold. If your home is leasehold, however, be prepared to pay a higher fee due to the extra administrative work. This information is included in either a TA7 or TA9 form7.
  • The TA10 form will detail what is and what isn’t included in a sale. This can include fixed appliances such as ovens and fridges7.
  • The TA13 form details everything related to the finalisation of the transaction including a declaration that the buyer will not inherit any claims for liability, and when the contracts will be signed, and the keys handed over7.

As mentioned earlier, it is often a good idea to hire and pay for independent conveyancer fees for this service, likely to be in the region of £500£1000 (inclusive of VAT) 1.

One of the most important figures to identify while attempting to sell a house is the most suitable asking price. While many estate agents will be able to provide you a ballpark estimate, this figure can be heavily affected by features that may only be obvious to a chartered surveyor.

Ignoring the advice of a surveyor and prioritising your estate agent’s estimate is never a good idea as estate agents may overstate the value of your home in order to gain your business, making your home harder to sell and costing your more in the long run.

A chartered surveyor uses various methods of arrive upon an asking price that is reasonable given the current market conditions. It is somewhat unsurprising therefore that there are occasions when a seller is upset that their home has not increased in value as they expected8.

The methods employed by a surveyor will include, but are not limited to:

  • Evaluating nearby sold house prices by comparing the house with similar properties in the same area that have recently sold9.
  • A structural report that will relay any information that could affect the value of the home. These can include the presence of dampness, structural movement and subsidence, as well as the condition of the roof and its supporting structure9.
  • The study of maintenance and upkeep that has been invested in the property9.
  • The value of, and quality of an extension9.

It is also important to state that a surveyor is not responsible for unidentified faults that are inaccessible. A quality surveyor of experience, however, is likely to mention possible issues that could be present based on the other information they have gathered.

Luckily for a seller, the cost of a valuation is much less than the costs of a Homebuyers Report – which is likely to be commissioned by a potential buyer1.

While certain independent surveyors will provide a fixed fee valuation, most jobs will be quoted for based on the value of the property – so expect to pay anything between £150 for a smaller home, up to £1,500 for a larger equivalent1.

Who pays stamp duty when selling a house?

Thankfully, stamp duty is not a cost that is attributed to the seller. Stamp duty is effectively a tax on the preparation of documents related to a house sale and is only relevant for a buyer who is buying a house worth more that £125,00010.

Is there any tax to pay when selling a home?

The necessity of a tax payment is entirely down to the situation of the individual who is selling.

The only tax that may need paying – other than VAT for employed services – is Capital Gains tax, and is a tax imposed on the rise in value of your house during your time of ownership11. This tax is not payable if the following applies to you:

  • The house being sold is the only home you own, and it has been your main residence since your purchased it11.
  • It has not been split and let out (this does not include a lodger, or roommate) 11.
  • It has not been used solely as business premises11.
  • The entire grounds (including all buildings) are less than 5,000m2 in area11.
  • It was bought solely to be flipped for financial gains in the short-term and not a residence11.

If these conditions do not apply to you, then you can enjoy Private Residence Relief and there is no charge11.

What are the other costs involved with selling a home?

Rather annoyingly – as many with experience of selling will be aware – there can be smaller costs that the seller is liable for, and these can often add up:

Energy Performance Certificate fees

An Energy Performance Certificate is a small survey that focuses on the environmental impact of your home. Brought into law on 1st August 200712, an EPC is carried out by an individual known as a Domestic Energy Assessor who uses software to give a house a score out of 100 based on its construction type, heating systems, loft and wall insulation, secondary heating appliances and glazing standards12.

When these certificates were introduced, a survey was likely to cost in the region of £120 (plus VAT), but as many estate agents have an individual on staff with the qualifications to perform the survey, the cost can often be as low as £30 to £40, and a generous agent will likely waive the fee. It is also worth noting that if an EPC has been performed in the preceding ten years, and there have been no structural changes that would affect its environmental impact for better or worse, then an EPC is not required12.

Removal fees

A seller can often be forgiven for forgetting to include the cost of removals into the house-selling equation as the focus required to obtain a sale makes the need to physically move your belongings a distant second priority.

Luckily, removal companies are a dime a dozen and tend to be experts at moving large items at high speeds with no damage. While you may occasionally hear about an individual hiring a van for the day and employing a few friends to help them out – for the sake of avoiding stress, most people will hire specialists.

Of course, the cost associated with removals varies on the amount of time needed to shift all your possessions. If you travel light, you will find yourself paying a little as £250, but if you plan on bringing your extensive collection of 1800s oak furniture., however, you could find yourself paying as much as £4,000 to £5,0001 – or sometimes even more.

Mortgage fees

If you have an existing mortgage, the chances are high that your lender will hope to keep your custom by allowing you to switch your mortgage to your new house with minimal stress. If you have found a more competitive quote for a mortgage from another lender on your new house, on the other hand, you will most likely find yourselves having to pay your original lender a mortgage exit fee13. This charge can often be contested but is predominantly in the region of £50£3001 depending on the small print in your original mortgage contract.

General cleaning fees

You didn’t think someone would buy your house without a little tidy-up, did you? As with so many purchases, the first taste is in the eye, and a messy home can often deter even the most enthusiastic buyer.

Yes, you can hire a team of cleaners for the day – and no-one will judge you if you do – but if you’re willing to put in a little elbow-grease, this is one part of a house sale that you can save money on.

So, how much does it really cost to sell a house in the UK?

Ultimately, the process of a house sale can be more expensive than many of us are led to believe. It is for this reason that so many sellers are so stubborn to listen to an agent advise them to lower their asking price – every penny counts.

There are, of course, many ways to avoid these costs – such as selling a house directly yourself instead of enlisting the services of an agent, or even carrying out removals and cleaning services themselves. But for the sake of ease, many vendors will pay for these services merely to avoid the accompanying stress – and the stress of needing to sell, especially when time is of the essence can often be too much to bear.

If you do need to sell your home in a short time frame, however, it is important to know the alternative ways available to you, and one of the fastest growing options for those who do not have the time to engage in the traditional house selling process is via the use of house buying companies such as National Homebuyers.

House-buying companies do not need to rely on lenders like an average buyer, and use their capital to purchase your home for cash directly, with many transactions completed within two weeks from the first point of contact, meaning that there is no waiting around for viewings, no charges for valuations or estate agents, and more importantly – a fast house sale.

House-buying companies are also a great option for those who simply can not sell their home due to construction or location-based issues, helping those who have struggled to find a buyer in the past.

Would you prefer to avoid the costs associated with selling a 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 before it’s too late.

Sources:

1 Brazg, G. (2018). Complete Guide: The Cost of Selling a House. Available: https://www.theadvisory.co.uk/house-selling/cost-of-selling-a-house/. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.

2 Woollsey, N. (2018). How to choose an estate agent. Available: https://moneyfacts.co.uk/mortgages/guides/how-to-choose-an-estate-agent/. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.

3 Cheek, N. (2011). Are estate agents really that bad? Available: https://conversation.which.co.uk/money/estate-agents-bad-trust/. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.

4 What Mortgage. (2018). Top five tips for choosing your conveyancer. Available: https://www.whatmortgage.co.uk/feature/top-five-tips-choosing-conveyancer/. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.

5 Anon. (2015). Conveyancing process explained for sellers. Available: https://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners/i-am-selling/conveyancing-made-simple-for-sellers/. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.

6 Kirkman, W. (2018). Is your property lawyer getting a kickback? New rules force conveyancers to disclose referral fees. Available: https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-6218909/Solicitors-referred-estate-agents-arent-telling-clients-paid-recommended.html. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.

7 Cheung, C. (2019). Conveyancing. Available: https://www.which.co.uk/money/mortgages-and-property/first-time-buyers/buying-a-home/conveyancing-ag3rw2q052kz. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.

8 RICS. (2019). The myth of ‘down valuation’ – does it truly exist?. Available: https://www.ricsfirms.com/glossary/the-myth-of-down-valuation-does-it-truly-exist/. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.

9 McNulty, F. (2018). Legal Q&A: How does a surveyor value a property? Available: https://www.homesandproperty.co.uk/property-news/legal-qa/how-does-a-surveyor-value-a-property-a122566.html. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.

10 Admin. (2019). Stamp Duty: The basics. Available: https://www.postoffice.co.uk/mortgages/stamp-duty. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.

11 Government. (2019). Private Residence Relief – Capital Gains Tax when you sell your home. Available: https://www.gov.uk/tax-sell-home. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.

12 Government. (2019). Buying or selling your home – Energy Performance Certificates. Available: https://www.gov.uk/buy-sell-your-home/energy-performance-certificates. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019

13 Maundrell, H. (2018). Can you reclaim your mortgage exit fees? Available: https://www.money.co.uk/guides/can-you-reclaim-your-mortgage-exit-fees.htm. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.

How To Sell A House In A Slow Market

How To Sell A House In A Slow Market

Selling a house often involves bowing to the power of the influences that affect the property market. There are, however, certain things that you can do to learn how to sell a house in a slow market.

How does a slow market affect house sales?

The housing market is a strange entity. It can be affected by multiple factors for both better or worse and the results can often be dramatic – this is largely because the health of the housing market and sold house prices are forever at the mercy of consumer confidence.

A slow market, by definition, does not necessarily mean that the economy is in the throes of a recession. While a recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth¹, the property market will often fluctuate month to month as a result of legislation being changed, interest rate changes and even the weather – and as the property market is buoyed by consumer confidence2, any fears experienced en masse by the prospective house buyers or sellers in the UK can easily cause a slowdown in the housing market.

For example, potential sellers are more likely to hold on to their homes if they read reports about the market beginning to stagnate, as this can have a devastating effect on the size of the purchase offers they receive. Moreover, if they fail to sell within a reasonable timeframe, once the market recovers, they may be forced to drop their asking price in order to counter the suspicions held by potential buyers that it hasn’t sold because it has underlying issues3.

Potential buyers are also less likely to be searching for a new home if they read that the market is stagnating as they know the selection will be poorer. However, there will be certain savvy buyers who will use a slower market to their advantage by providing sellers with low-ball offers, hoping that some of them will be desperate enough to sell4 – although this practice is becoming less common.

How does a slow property market affect the economy?

Of course, when the market is moving slower than it should, there are often wider consequences for the country’s economy as a whole:

  • Businesses such as estate agents that depend on the positive buoyancy of the market can find themselves in a worrying financial position leading to branch closures5 and limiting the competition outside of big cities.
  • The Bank of England can be forced to change interest rates, limiting the cost to consumers of the charges that banks pass on when they borrow from one another6, the consequences of which mean that…
  • Banks may become unwilling to lend during these times of crisis7, hindering the economic flow of money.
  • Depending on the length of time that the market is considered weak, house price growth can fall8.

As two thirds of all properties are owned (or mortgaged), and only one third are rented it is fair to say that a large amount of personal wealth is tied up in property ownership, and if homeowner’s assets fall in value, they are less likely to be spending their expendable income on other items and experiences such as meals out, concerts and various luxuries, causing a slowdown in hospitality and other manufacturing industry sectors2.

What steps can I take to sell my house in a slow market?

If you’re already trying to sell your home fast in difficult market conditions, it is important to establish whether or not the failure to sell is a result of the slow market itself – or whether there are other factors at play. This means bearing the following in mind:

  • Be realistic with pricing – valuing a house is never based on guess work, but rather comparables from the same area while also taking into account any unique structural changes or décor. While people may believe that they have had work done on their home that adds value, the additions they have made may not be of interest to potential buyers, and a house is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay9.
  • Choose the right agent – choosing an agent to help you sell your home is one of the most important steps in the traditional house-buying process. Many sellers find themselves being swayed by the competitive prices of agencies who cover the entire country10, realising too late that they would have had more luck with a local agent with more experience selling in their area9.
  • Keep your home at showroom quality – while it can be a pain cleaning and tidying up as you go, keeping your home at showroom quality allows you to be ready for a viewing, no matter when the call comes. A clean and tidy house will also fetch a better price than a home that isn’t cared for9.
  • Take great pictures – if you know that you will be selling your home in the near future, make sure that you are pro-active and take some photos of your home on a bright summers day with clean windows and a nicely presented yard or garden. If you need to sell your house in a slow market and it’s the middle of winter, your home won’t seem as inviting if buyers can’t see it’s potential.
  • Be personable during viewings – when prospective buyers attend a viewing, it is only fair that they are given the space to voice both their objective and subjective opinions – and as the owner, you may not always like what you hear so it’s important to give them space to look around without interference. Make them feel welcome upon arrival, and when they do ask questions, respond politely and informatively11. In a similar fasahion to buying a car, if a seller comes across as polite, calm and intelligent, this gives you confidence that the car has been well maintained and cared for, and you are more likely to pull the trigger on a purchase – and the same is true for housing.

I Need to Sell My House Fast, What Are My Options?

There are some situations where regardless of the effort you invest, your house still refuses to sell via the traditional methods. So, what are your options if you need to sell your home fast during a slow market?

Auction Houses are another popular way of presenting your home to prospective sellers. Similar to estate agents, auctioneers will take a percentage of the profit – often between 2-3% – so it is in their best interests to sell for as higher price as possible.

However, due to the amount of work necessary for an auction house to market your home before the auction itself, even if your house fails to sell you will still be liable for their costs – often in the range of £1,200-£1,50012. However, there are many auctioneers across the country, allowing you to find a local business that knows your area well.

It is worth mentioning that auction houses are usually frequented by investors, looking to pick up a bargain for renovation purposes12, as well as buyers looking for homes that are non-standard and a bit quirky. For these reasons, standard homes can sell for as little as 40% of their full market value.

Online property portals such as Purplebricks or YOPA are able to sell your house via their websites at a fixed fee, as opposed to a percentage-based fee that an estate agent would normally require. However, as with many great offers, there are strings attached.

Many online estate agents require you to use their own services for valuations – and these services often require additional fees. There have also been numerous complaints upheld by the advertising watchdog in regard to unclear advertising. An example of this is when the fixed fee itself is payable whether or not your house manages to sell, and Purplebricks’ 2016 claim to save a seller an average of £4,158 in fees versus standard estate agents was heavily critiqued because the claim was based on commission figures that had been published five years previously13.

While there are trustworthy companies out there who are willing to help you sell your house, it’s important to remember that sometimes, the client is also the customer, and they always intend to make a profit. So make sure you read the small print before signing on the dotted line.

Thankfully, there is another way to sell your home without having to deal with additional commission fees, and this is through the use of house buying companies.

Companies such as National Homebuyers are capable of selling your home in as little as two weeks from the first point of contact – which is great for those who need to move house due to a sudden change in personal circumstances. National Homebuyers will buy any house for cash, regardless of condition or location, and always 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?

Are you worried that the condition of the housing market could be affecting the sale 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 before it’s too late.

Sources:

¹ BBC (Anon) (2008) Q&A: What is a recession? Available: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7495340.stm. Last accessed 28th Oct. 2019.

2 Anon. (2018). How does the housing market affect the economy?. Available: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/knowledgebank/how-does-the-housing-market-affect-the-economy. Last accessed 28th Oct 2019.

3 Anon. (2017). Making an offer – and haggling over the price. Available: https://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners/i-am-buying/making-an-offer-and-haggling-over-the-price/. Last accessed 28th Oct 2019.

4 Smith, K A. (2018). Should fear of the next recession keep you from buying a home?. Available: https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/buying-a-home-before-recession/. Last accessed 28th Oct 2019.

5 Kollewe, J. (2019). UK estate agents at their gloomiest for 10 years, says Rics. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/feb/14/uk-estate-agents-house-prices-are-at-their-gloomiest-for-10-years-says-rics. Last accessed 28th Oct 2019.

6 Anon. (2018). Interest rates and Bank Rate. Available: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/monetary-policy/the-interest-rate-bank-rate. Last accessed 28th Oct 2019.

7 Richards, K. (2019). The Financial Crisis – Changes to Lending Policies. Available: https://www.cashfloat.co.uk/blog/money-borrowing/crisis-changes-lending-policy/. Last accessed 28th Oct 2019.

8 Canocchi, C. (2019). House prices grind to a halt as Brexit chill extends beyond London and the South East to slow property markets across the UK. Available: https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-7524071/Nationwide-House-prices-grind-halt-Brexit-chill-extends.html. Last accessed 28th Oct 2019.

9 Thomas, H. (2018). How to get your home sold in a slow property market: From painting the front door, to how to price it right… tips to make your move happen. Available: https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-5542545/Selling-house-paint-door.html. Last accessed 28th Oct 2019.

10 Dare-Hall, Z. (2019). Looking to move but can’t sell your home? How to make a deal in this slow market . Available: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/uk/tweak-asking-price-offer-sweetener-sell-home-slow-market/. Last accessed 28th Oct 2019.

11 Bennett, G. (2019). How to sell your home in a slow market. Available: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/how-to-sell-your-home-in-a-slow-market-t9839wn93. Last accessed 28th Oct 2019.

12 Cheung, C. (2019). Property auctions. Available: https://www.which.co.uk/money/mortgages-and-property/first-time-buyers/buying-a-home/property-auctions-athvb3j7lmd4#headline_8. Last accessed 28th Oct 2019.

13 Dean, S. (2017). Purplebricks apologises for repeating banned claims after share price falls 7pc. Available: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/08/03/purplebricks-apologises-repeating-banned-claims-share-price/. Last accessed 28th Oct 2019.

What Does a Recession Mean for House Prices?

With rumours growing over recent months surrounding the possibility of another severe recession taking place sometime in the near future, many homeowners are asking how this could affect the value of their home.

What is a recession?

If you have lived through the eighties, nineties and noughties – it’s more than likely that you will have been experienced the consequences of a recession. But what exactly is a recession?

In the UK, a recession takes place when the economy experiences two consecutive months of negative growth¹. Negative growth is when the GDP – or gross domestic product – falls over a six-month phase¹.

Using this definition, it can be shown that over the last 70 years, there have been six clear recessions that have had a negative effect on the UK economy – 1974, 1975, 1980, 1981, 1991 and 2008².

A recession itself can be short-term, but its effects can certainly be felt for years after, especially in areas of moderate to severe deprivation. However, the way a recession affects certain industries often depends on the time during which it occurs.

During the Great Depression in the 1930s, for example, it was recent introduction of the gold standard that caused the most suffering, putting a strain on many financial institutions, and ultimately leading to the UK leaving the gold standard in 1931³.

In the 1970s, the political fallout of the Yom Kippur War led to an embargo on oil products from wealthy Arab nations, almost quadrupling the cost of fuel overnight and leading to many companies in industries that were reliant on a steady flow of the resource to collapse within weeks.⁴

The latest recession that took place in the UK was the 2008 ‘Great Recession’ as a result of the sub-prime mortgage crisis by banks on both sides of the Atlantic and is considered the worst financial crisis since the Second World War. During this time, the unemployment rose by a shocking 8.3%, and manufacturing output fell by 7% – the worst statistics since 1994⁵.

It was during this time, however, that many financial banks and lenders found themselves needing to be bailed out by the government, leaving those who had borrowed money from these lenders for purchases such as housing mortgages in dire straits6.

How does a recession affect property?

The effect that a recession has on property is often dependent on the rate of inflation leading up to the crisis itself.

In the decade leading up to the most the financial crisis, the value of sold house prices grew sharply creating a bubble that enticed many investors and homeowners to place themselves in position of unnecessary risk – buoyed by the confidence of the lenders who were willing to grant those without a sizeable deposit up to 95%-100% contracts7.

For those who bought their homes closer to the turn of the century, the profit they had made through sky-rocketing inflation counter-balanced the fall in house prices that occurred as a result of the crisis. Unfortunately, many who had only bought within the short period of time leading up to the recession – especially those who took high-risk mortgages – found themselves in negative equity with high interest repayments they could not afford.

 

Is a recession a good time to sell a house?

Whether or not selling a house during a recession is a good idea is very dependent on your situation. If you live in a wealthier area such London, then it is more than likely that the value will recover quite quickly once the recession is over. If, however, you live in an area that is less in-demand by buyers, the likelihood is that you could be waiting more than a decade for values to return to normal.

For example, as late as September 2018, while average properties are now 17% above where they were pre-crisis, regional differences paint a different picture. In the capital prices were over 40% higher than they were before the financial crisis, but in Northern Ireland house values were still 40% lower than they were before the recession8. For many people, they would rather lose money on their house than wait another 15 years to sell at a profit.

There will always be certain buildings that demand a premium price and are likely to weather the storm of a financial crises, but these tend to be either listed, or include unique selling points that attract wealthy buyers.

How to sell a house during a recession?

If you need to sell a home fast at a time when the vast majority of the population are struggling to cover their monthly costs – and by proxy cannot save for a deposit that would be accepted by a lender – finding a buyer can be a very difficult task. This is especially true when taking into account that the number of mortgages being approved in 2018 were still 40% lower in volume than before the 2008 crisis.8

Luckily, however, there are alternatives that many potential sellers tend to overlook.

By examining the rate of values as they fall, it’s not hard to see that waiting can often reduce your potential profit further – particularly if you live in a low-income area. In situations such as these, it is advised to sell as soon as possible, as once the recession is over there is no guarantee that your home’s value will recover in the short-term – even to the price that you manage to sell it for during a failing market.

There are, thankfully, companies who keep track of the property market and are willing to buy your house directly, for cash. The benefit of companies such as these is that they revolve around the idea of completing purchase in a much shorter space of time than a normal sale – which is great news if you are a seller and can not afford to wait around.

Furthermore, house-buying companies such as National Homebuyers will buy a house in any condition or situation, providing you with capital that can be used immediately, allowing you to capitalise on the purchasing opportunities available during a weak market, such as the possibility of buying a brand new home for a bargain-basement price from a house-building company who are desperate to shift their portfolio.

How will the housing market look in the next recession?

As of Q3 2019, fears have been growing rapidly regarding the possibility of another recession – partly fuelled by the fears of a stilted economy once the UK leaves the EU as planned9.

Even in a health economy, the ability of younger generations in the modern age to be able to afford their own home – even considering the large number of schemes put forward by the government over the last ten years – is a lost cause for the majority10.

Many analysts believe that the next recession will punish Millennials further11. While this may not seem to be an issue for many older homeowners who wish to sell, it is important to remember that the search for a willing buyer will be exponentially harder if the pool of potential buyers continues to decrease.

This means that many older homeowners who wish to downsize – trading their expensive larger houses for smaller, more affordable ones – may find the process extremely tricky, heavily affecting the status of their wealth into retirement.

It is, at this point, impossible to say how the housing market will look after the next recession. With so many variables in the air, even respected analysts are finding themselves at odds with one another. But as many economists have pointed out, the outlook would be a lot less bleak if the decision to leave the EU is reversed12.

Are you looking to sell your home due to worries about recession? 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 before it’s too late.

Sources:

¹BBC (Anon) (2008) Q&A: What is a recession? Available: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7495340.stm. Last accessed 10th Sept. 2019.

²Office for National Statistics. (2013). UK GDP since 1955. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2009/nov/25/gdp-uk-1948-growth-economy. Last accessed 10th Sept 2019.

³Pettinger, T. (2017). The UK economy in the 1930s. Available: https://www.economicshelp.org/blog/7483/economics/the-uk-economy-in-the-1930s/. Last accessed 10th Sept. 2019.

⁴Smith, Charles D. (2006), Palestine and the Arab–Israeli Conflict, New York: Bedford, p329.

⁵Leaker, D. (2015). LFS: ILO unemployment rate: Great Britain: All: %: SA. Available: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peoplenotinwork/unemployment/timeseries/ycno/lms. Last accessed 10th Sept 2019.

6Morrison, C. (2018). How the global financial crisis hit the UK housing market. Available: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/global-financial-crisis-lehman-brothers-property-house-prices-uk-housing-market-a8538176.html. Last accessed 10th Sept 2019.

7Chu, B. (2018). Financial crisis 2008: How Lehman Brothers helped cause ‘the worst financial crisis in history’. Available: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/financial-crisis-2008-why-lehman-brothers-what-happened-10-years-anniversary-a8531581.html. Last accessed 10th Sept 2019.

8Bruce, A. (2018). Britain’s lasting scars from the financial crisis. Available: https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-economy-crisis-graphic/britains-lastin-scars-from-the-financial-crisis-idUKKCN1LX0FY. Last accessed 10th Sept 2019.

9Sentance, A & Blanchflower, D. (2019). Recession looms for Britain – two experts on the economic outlook. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/aug/28/recession-looms-for-brexit-britain-two-experts-on-the-economic-outlook. Last accessed 10th Sept 2019.

10Inman, P. (2015). Young people in UK increasingly giving up on owning a home – Halifax survey. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/apr/07/young-people-uk-increasingly-giving-up-owning-home-halifax-survey. Last accessed 10th Sept. 2019.

11Lowrey, A. (2019). The Next Recession Will Destroy Millennials. Available: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/08/millennials-are-screwed-recession/596728/. Last accessed 10th Sept 2019.

12Clark, E. (2019). What will Brexit mean for house prices? Available: https://www.which.co.uk/news/2019/09/what-will-brexit-mean-for-house-prices/. Last accessed 10th Sept 2019.

How Brexit Has Made Homeowners Turn to Quick House Sales

After three years of political back-and-forth, misinformation and numerous allegations of corruption, the UK is due to leave the EU on October 31. However, amid all the confusion and turmoil, it appears that homeowners are likely to be bearing the brunt of the economic damage for years to come.

What exactly is Brexit?

Brexit. A word that has only entered the lexicon in recent years, but whose consequences have propelled it to the forefront of the British collective conscious. But what exactly is Brexit?

Contrary to popular opinion, the anti-European sentiment held by many of those who voted to leave can trace its origins as far back as the years following the Second World War, as the more learned members of the British public found themselves becoming weary of the multinational financial, defences and trade organisations that had been set up to centralise power such as the European Union, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)1.

For many Brits, this centralisation of power meant losing sovereignty and the ability for the UK to make its own rules.

The rise of such organisations was also paralleled by a rise in immigration over the latter half of the twentieth century as increased globalism saw many educated individuals seek employment in more developed countries than their own in the quest for a higher quality of life.

While most young people in Britain today enjoy a secular multicultural social scene, just fifty years prior, most of the British population had barely been exposed to immigrants of different races and cultures. Unsurprisingly, this provided all the ingredients for a rise in nationalist, bigoted styles of thought – especially in areas with low standards of education amongst the working classes. Furthermore, as the rise of immigration and the European Union coincided with one another, it was very easy for Brits to blame the latter for the former.

In reality, the rise of immigration was a direct result of increased political and business agreements between countries as well as cheaper travel options and the need for a larger workforce to help re-build the country and its economy once the war was over.2

By time the 1990s arrived, the British industrial and political landscape had changed massively. The closing of coal mines and the movement of jobs abroad that had previously provided work within the poorer areas of Britain saw a rise of anti-establishmentarianism become embedded in the minds of those who struggled in poverty.

As time passed, it became clear to many that the country had become London-centric, with many other areas left to continue their decline3. And as politicians and other wealthy investors centred their businesses around the capital, a new form of political figure began to emerge, happy to exploit those who failed to understand the relationship between the EU and the UK.

It was during this time that anti-EU politician and grass-roots campaign leader Nigel Farage began to see his profile gain inertia as he marketed himself to less affluent areas as ‘a people’s man’ who is less tied to the elite than the opposing politicians against whom he was competing.

Farage campaigned with others who shared his viewpoint -including the late Sir James Goldsmith – in an effort to direct public attention towards the growing issue of direct immigration within the Eurozone from less economically resilient countries who had recently joined the EU, while also drawing attention to the troubled economies of southern European countries such as Spain4.

During the early 2000s, the idea of leaving the EU began to really gain traction amongst those who felt disenfranchised by the European and British elites who they believed benefited from EU membership at the expense of those lower down on the social ladder.

This growing belief, coupled with multiple Parliamentary scandals, a paralysing economic depression and additional political pressure from the growing anti-EU sentiment within the various parties led to the fulfilment of a promise made by then-Prime Minister David Cameron to hold a referendum vote on EU membership 23 June 2016.

In the months leading up to the referendum, the public found themselves inundated with media campaigns and political rhetoric, with one in six Brits admitting that the divisive nature of the matter had created rifts between families and friends.5

When the results were announced, many were surprised to learn that the Leave campaign had been victorious – winning 52% of the counted votes. A large number of analysts believe that this was due to a lack of engagement with the referendum by pro-remain constituents, combined with a constant stream of misinformation by the Leave campaign that led to the historic decision.6

While the referendum was by no means legally-binding, the government felt obliged to begin the preparations to leave the European Union – much to the ire of the 48% who voted to remain.

Due to the political and economic fallout that grew in intensity over the next three years, as well as the failure by the Tory party to negotiate a trade deal with the EU before the deadline passed on March 31st, an extension for negotiations was granted until 31 October 2019.

In June 2019, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that she would be stepping down from her role, forcing a Tory leadership contest whose winner will be responsible for the continued Tory efforts to take the UK out of European Union.

How has Brexit affected the economy?

Since 2016, the UK economy has seen its growth rate stall. By 2018, first quarter reports by Reuters showed that the economy was between 1-1.5 per cent smaller than it would have been if the Brexit vote had failed. Although many analysts cite an estimated GDP fall of 2.5 per cent – placing it second to last in the G7 economy rankings, just above Italy7.

The UK has, however, enjoyed a huge drop in the rate of unemployment, hitting its lowest level since the 1970s. Unfortunately, those within the work and pensions sector admit that this has been heavily influenced by the increase of ‘zero-hour’ contracts whereby an individual can ‘technically’ be counted as employed, but without a contract that stipulates a minimum number of working hours per week8. This lack of dependable income has forced many Brits to seek second, or even third jobs to cover their monthly outgoings.

Wage growth has also slowed significantly as inflation grew way above the 2 per cent target set by the Bank of England7. This devaluation in currency cannot be entirely blamed on Brexit, as inflation has outgrown wages for decades, with younger generations finding it increasingly hard to build up their savings. However, the inflation rises have forced many households to extend their lines of credit from lenders merely to cover month-to-month expenses9. The economic impact of Brexit, nevertheless, has led the household sector into a net financial deficit for the first time since 19887

As many Brits are probably aware, much of the economic downfall has been centred in and around the capital. Since the days of Thatcher, the UK has positioned itself as a financial powerhouse, with London serving as a middleman between the US and European trade. Unfortunately, many of the multi-national companies, banks, and potential investors perceive Brexit to be a huge mistake that may affect their bottom line if the UK leaves the EU. This has led to numerous organisations re-structuring and moving their operations from London into the Republic of Ireland as well as mainland Europe to avoid the possibility of unwelcome tariffs.

With a lack of employment opportunities within these organisations, the capital has become a less attractive proposition for younger people who have recently graduated, while also forcing many established homeowners in London to find employment elsewhere.

Many companies – both national and international – have also moved their headquarters out of the capital, choosing to move north where land-rent is much cheaper. This increase of investment into cities that had previously been considered ‘secondary’ to London began to turn the commercial property market upside-down as northern towns started to flourish at the expense of the South.

The capital is also finding itself starved of investment, with the Bank of England admitting that before the referendum took place, they expected the economy to grow by 13 per cent between 2016 and 2018. As a result of the leave vote, however, investment in the UK grew by only 2 per cent in total, including a fall of 0.2 per cent between 2017 and 20187.

The signs that Brexit may well spell further disaster are also worryingly clear, with UK stocks becoming a less attractive investment within the FTSE250 in the US, falling by 0.3 per cent (an increase of 12 per cent in Sterling) – a figure that is dwarfed by other developed economies who have seen investment rise by 26 per cent7.

How has Brexit affected house sales and the housing market?

The British house market is entirely sustained by consumer confidence in the economy. Thanks to the fall in GDP, Brits are generally earning less than they would have if the Brexit vote was for remain. Since the vote, house price rises have started to falter, forcing many potential sellers to consider waiting until after the dust has settled before making any plans.

While employment is at its highest level for over 40 years, the continued effects of rapid inflation; the proliferation of zero-hour contracts and the static but overly expensive house prices thanks to years of growth in value have left a large percentage of individuals from Generation X, the Millennial generation, and Generation Z with very little chance of ever owning a home of their own. This has led to an increase in rental properties, and consequently, and increase in rental fees as landlords exploit the situation for further profit10. This hike in rental fees also swallows much more of the income from those within these generations – preventing them from building up savings.

For homeowners in the capital, the effects of Brexit have been startling, with a £40bn drop in property value increases between 2018 and 2019 according to recent data released by London-based agent Savills11.

“Given the extent to which London is [currently] priced relative to the rest of the country,” said Lucian Cook, director of residential research at Savills in July 2019, “the extent to which it had pulled away from the rest — the Brexit vote may well have been the catalyst for a shift in the market.”

It isn’t all doom and gloom, however, as thanks to the closing of the north-south divide in property values thanks to the aforementioned re-distribution of investment from the south to the north, the total value of housing stock across the UK has still increased by £243bn since 201611.

Unfortunately for the UK government, this increase is mainly a result of property value increases across Scotland and Wales7 – countries who have both expressed an interest in leaving the United Kingdom in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

What options do homeowners have amid Brexit?

While a large proportion of homeowners can sit back and watch the Brexit saga play-out, there are, unfortunately, many who will have no choice but to sell while the market is stagnant.

Employees who have been made redundant in the capital, for example, have found themselves needing to move cities to find another job. And as much of their equity is tied into their house, they need to sell their house in order to buy another.

While some individuals choose to commute, the increase in prices for train fares has made this an increasingly undesirable option.

Why are homeowners trying to sell before the Brexit deadline?

Those who own a property that they have considered selling for several years are now finding themselves between a rock and a hard place. As of mid-2019, the UK property market lies in favour of buyers12. So why are they so desperate to sell before the Brexit deadline?

The answer, it seems, is very simple. Fear.

Homeowners have seen the decrease in market activity in the years since the Brexit vote, as well as the falling sold house prices that have so far been concentrated in the south of England. For many of these individuals, they have already acknowledged that they have lost profit on their homes, but the fear that their home could lose even more value if the UK leaves the EU on 31 October encourages them to play their hand early.

This situation is not helped by the amount of misinformation being spread by the less-reputable members of the leave campaign, who believe that even an independent analyst’s estimate that the UK will be “worse-off” once Brexit is finalised is all part of a propaganda campaign by the UK and EU elite they refer to as ‘Project Fear’.

In reality, there is no easy answer to the question ‘Should I sell my house before Brexit?” as, in truth, those within the industry can only make educated guesses that often need revising thanks to the repeated changes in government policies and legislation related to the October deadline.

Luckily, there are always ways to sell a house – even in a stagnant market. And if the value is presently higher than it will be in the event of a no-deal Brexit, many homeowners believe that it is worth it.

So, how can these homeowners sell?

  • They can choose to sell the traditional way via a high-street agent who is likely to have common knowledge of the area but will take a percentage of the agreed sale price.
  • They can enlist the help of online estate agents, who offer flat-rate fees to lure customers away from their competitors. Although certain companies such as Zoopla and Purplebricks have been caught numerous times transgressing the guidelines set out by the Advertising Standards Authority in relation to false marketing claims as well as failing to disclose additional fees to their customers
  • They can try to sell the house themselves privately, although this approach rarely leads to a profit comparable to that negotiated by a professional agent.

It is important to draw attention to the fact that although these methods will – more than likely – guarantee a sale, it is ultimately the strength of the market that governs the value of their home. This means that if they wish to sell their house within a short-time frame, they will most likely have to accept a purchase offer much lower than they anticipated.

Is there a faster way to sell a house?

There are always options for a homeowner if they wish to sell their house fast – no matter the location, situation or quality of construction – and this is via the use of private house buying companies who have the resources to purchase a home outright for cash. This method has increased in popularity over the last ten years as the need to move to a new house in pursuit of higher earnings has become a priority for a growing number of households.

Other options include the use of an auction, where a property can be placed on a ticket and bid for by prospective owners. Auctions are often used by property developers and landlords to find bargains that they can profit from by either ‘flipping’ the house, or by placing tenants inside once it is renovated.

While some sellers report excellent experiences within the auction world – there are yet more who are unable to sell for their reserve price, forcing them to either accept a substantially lower amount than they hoped – or withdrawing their property from the auction, whilst still being obliged to pay the auctioneer’s fees.

How will the property market react once Brexit is passed?

As mentioned earlier, the condition of the housing market – as well as the UK economy – once the Brexit deadline passes is not an estimate many experts are prepared to make publicly with making a disclaimer. There have been claims that the UK could face its greatest economic recession since the Second World War if it were to leave the EU with, or without, a deal as negotiations to arrange trade deals with other countries appear to be weakening13.

One thing that all analysts all agree upon, however, is that if Article 50 were to be withdrawn and Brexit cancelled, the British Pound would likely rise in value significantly amongst the other developed nations. Echoing this sentiment are the many international corporations that are still in the process of drawing up plans to withdraw and re-locate from the UK, stating that they may be willing to reverse their decision to leave.

Are you looking to sell your home before the Brexit deadline? 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 before it’s too late.

Sources and references:

1Friedman, G. (2016). 3 Reasons Brits Voted For Brexit. Available: https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnmauldin/2016/07/05/3-reasons-brits-voted-for-brexit/. Last accessed 9 July 2019.

2Yeo, C. (2017). Freedom of movement didn’t start with the EU – it’s the norm for Britain. Available: https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/staggers/2017/05/freedom-movement-didnt-start-eu-its-norm-britain. Last accessed 10 July 2019.

3The Economist. 2012. The Great Divide. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.economist.com/britain/2012/09/15/the-great-divide. [Accessed 9 July 2019].

4Carter, Neil; Evans, Mark; Alderman, Keith; Gorham, Simon (1998). “Europe, Goldsmith and the Referendum Party”. Parliamentary Affairs. 51 (3). pp. 470–485.

5Mischke, J. (2019). Brexit has made Brits ‘angrier’ and ‘deeply divided’: survey. Available: https://www.politico.eu/article/brexit-has-made-brits-angrier-and-deeply-divided-survey-referendum/. Last accessed 9th July 2019.

6Cassidy, J. (2016). Why the Remain Campaign Lost the Brexit Vote. Available: Why the Remain Campaign Lost the Brexit Vote. Last accessed 9 July 2019.

7Giles, C. Fray, K. (2018). The UK economy since the Brexit vote — in 6 charts. Available: https://www.ft.com/content/cf51e840-7147-11e7-93ff-99f383b09ff9. Last accessed 9 Jul 2019.

8Trotman, A. (2015). Zero-hours contracts ‘save UK from eurozone levels of unemployment’. Available: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/11435789/Zero-hours-contracts-save-UK-from-eurozone-levels-of-unemployment.html. Last accessed 9 July 2019.

9Burroughs, C. (2019). Companies are fleeing the UK no matter what happens with Brexit. Here’s all the damage that’s already been done. Available: https://www.businessinsider.com/brexit-damaged-city-of-london-2018-11?r=US&IR=T. Last accessed 9 July 2019.

10White, A. (2019). Renting in London forecast: Brexit uncertainty set to push average rents up faster than house prices by 2023. Available: https://www.homesandproperty.co.uk/property-news/renting/renting-london-forecast-brexit-uncertainty-will-push-rents-up-faster-than-house-prices-by-2023-a126901.html. Last accessed 9 July 2019.

11Pickford, J. (2019). London property values down £40bn in past year. Available: https://www.ft.com/content/3f105808-9e62-11e9-b8ce-8b459ed04726. Last accessed 9th July 2019.

12Collinson, P. (2019). UK house prices likely to keep falling for another six months. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/apr/11/uk-house-prices-likely-to-keep-falling-for-another-six-months. Last accessed 9 July 2019.

13Chu, B. (2018). Brexit: UK could suffer devastating recession and worst economic slump since Second World War with ‘disorderly’ exit, Bank of England warns. Available: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/brexit-no-deal-latest-bank-of-england-warning-recession-financial-crisis-a8656561.html. Last accessed 9 July 2019.

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.

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 secrets behind how to sell a property successfully

Selling a house is never a stress-free experience but being prepared can help you to complete a sale as efficiently as possible.

While many homeowners love the idea of moving to a nice new property, the move itself is often hindered by the sale of their current home. So how do you ensure that the house-selling process goes as smoothly as possible?

How to sell your house

There are several methods that allow you to sell a house:

What do you need to know to sell your house?

When you sell your home, it is always a good idea to familiarise yourself with the house selling process:

What documents do you need to sell a house?

The documents needed to sell a house are as follows:

What are the costs of selling a house?

There are numerous costs to legally sell a home, many of which can shock vendors. There are, however, always numerous options available:

Of course, there are ways to avoid a large portion of the fees associated with selling a house, and this is by using National Homebuyers.

When National Homebuyers purchase a house, there is only a small service fee necessary, and this is fully refunded once the sale is complete. National Homebuyers will even cover up to £1000 of your conveyancing fees, helping you save money, and sell your home with minimum stress.

Looking for a quick way to sell your house? 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.

The Top Ten Worst Places To Sell a Home In The UK

No matter the quality or condition of a home, if it is located in an area that offers little in terms of services or personal safety then the vendor will always find themselves consistently lowering their asking price in desperation to complete a sale.

If you’re browsing through listings on an online portal such as Rightmove, you will occasionally see a beautiful property for a staggeringly low price. Opening the listing, you remain optimistic but cautious as to why such a wonderful example of a home can be so cheap despite its large open rooms and well maintained exterior, so after a period of reflection you decide to contact the agent to arrange a viewing.

As you approach the house, it slowly dawns on you why the vendor is having such a hard time selling. For starters, there doesn’t appear to be any local amenities or shops within a 2-3 mile radius – so if the new owner wishes to pick up a few essentials, it would be necessary to catch a bus or drive. Secondly, the neighbourhood appears to have high levels of crime – a deal-breaker for most of us. And once you finally go inside, you hear the dreaded words “I’m afraid we don’t have broadband available in this part of town”.

In the UK, there are many places that buyers would prefer to avoid, and as a result National Homebuyers have been inundated by vendors who need to  sell their house fast. Luckily, National Homebuyers will buy any home regardless of location with competitive quotes and industry leading service – but where are the worst places to sell a home in the UK?

This year, Home.co.uk compared data from sales across the nation, presenting a list of the areas where a house sale can turn into a nightmare that never ends, along with the average time it can take to sell:

1. Rotherham –279 days

2. Knightsbridge – 277 days

3. Sunderland – 277 days

4. Mayfair – 272 days

5. North Shields – 268 days

6. Marylebone – 268 days

7. Soho – 266 days

8. Charing Cross – 265 days

9. South Shields – 264 days

10. Strand – 262 days

Perhaps the most shocking thing regarding the list is the number of London boroughs. Many of these boroughs were in great demand just five years ago, but thanks to rising sold house prices, higher taxes and low wage levels, sellers who refuse to lower their asking price are finding themselves on the market for nine months or more.

Another interesting point is how few northerly towns are included in the list versus similar previous surveys. Analysts believe that the relocation of big companies such as the BBC to large northern cities with lower land values has had a positive effect on neighbouring towns as commuters vie for the best available properties.

With limited trade and falling levels of available industrial work, it is unsurprising to learn that other than the six areas near the capital, three out of the four remaining places on the list are occupied by towns from the north-east.

However, first prize goes to the large South Yorkshire town of Rotherham where houses take, on average, 279 days to sell. With high levels of crimes and the proliferation of ‘grooming’ gangs, combined with high rates of binge drinking and drug abuse within its population, Rotherham often finds itself named on humorous websites as one of the ‘worst places to live in the UK’.

While these lists do change as time passes with the rise and fall of local economies, it is clear that the economic downturn and public insecurity concerning Brexit has had far-reaching consequences for vendors up and down the country – even in the capital.

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.

The Secret To The Best Time To Sell Your Home

Finding the best time to sell a property is not always easy in the UK thanks to our inconsistent weather and the complexities associated with the house-selling process. Luckily, in this blog we’re going to discuss the best time to sell your house, and how to use this information to ensure a high value sale.

When do most houses go on the market in the UK?

Traditionally, the majority of houses across the nation are placed on the market when the weather is bright and the temperatures are warmer. This allows vendors to showcase the exterior façade of their home with the plentiful amounts of available natural light, while also helping the property feel warm and welcoming. However, if you are hoping to sell your home fast, you need to choose a time of the year when large amounts of potential buyers are scouting the market for their next big move.

When is the right time to sell a property?

Throughout the year there are many events that can limit the likelihood of your home selling in a short-time scale, subsequently forcing you to reduce your asking price. In the summer, many young families are often busy with their children while the schools are closed, and trying to look after children and organise a house move is often a recipe for disaster. During the winter, the short days and cold temperatures limit the enthusiasm of buyers, and only a very small number of them would be willing to move house during Christmas time.

In the autumn, conversely, children are back in school and buyers who are desperate to move before the cold weather sets in are more likely to make a serious offer with the intention of purchasing. For the majority of estate agents, however, the busiest time of the year is always spring. This is because the days are longer, the weather begins to brighten and the increased competition between potential buyers increases the prospect of you receiving your original asking price – or even higher.

Which month is the best to sell a house?

According to industry analysts, the best months to place your house on the market are between February and June. By the time February arrives, the Christmas and New Year festivities are over and thanks to the ending of the tax year in April, it’s a great time for buyers who are self-employed to finalise their proof-of-earnings for their mortgage application.

The best month to sell your house in terms of sales figures is May, but it is often a good idea to beat the crowd and list your property with an agent a little sooner.

When is the best time to put a house on the market?

The best time to sell your house is not a question that is easily answered. While many individuals have the luxury of being able to wait to place their home on the market, there is always a large number of sellers who cannot delay their sale due to a new job, or simply because they need to move closer to family due to their failing health. Luckily, even when the market has been slow, sellers have been able to contact National Homebuyers to help them to gain high sold house prices with competitive quotes and an ability to complete a sale in as little as two weeks.

Looking to sell your home out of season? 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 insider secrets that can lower the value of your home

In this blog, we’re going to look at the more unusual factors that influence the saleability of your house, and what you can do to ensure you get the best price possible.

If you’re looking to sell your house fast, it can be surprising how even the smallest things affect the value of your home, and consequently, the likelihood of a prospective buyer making a reasonable offer.

Personal taste

If you live on a street of identical houses, you may feel a bit disconcerted by the range of sold property prices – even if they all have the same floorplan. However, if you take a closer look at the available photographs, the difference in value can easily be explained by the owner’s personal taste.

When you are presenting your home, it’s important to decorate it in a way that allows a prospective buyer to visualise themselves living there. This is often achieved by using basic colours such as cream or lavender wall paint and carpets – acting as a blank canvas for the buyer’s imagination. If you choose to incorporate odd decorative elements into your home, it may appear charming to yourself, but there is always a strong chance that it will deter previously interested parties.

Be nice to your neighbours

We all know that the personality of our neighbours is outside of our control, but for the sake of keeping your property value high it is always worth, when possible, to treat them with respect. There is always a chance that both your estate agents and prospective buyers will choose to talk with your neighbours to learn more about what it is like to live there – and a disgruntled neighbour can easily discourage a potential buyer and force you to lower your asking price.

It’s good to be odd

As strange as it sounds, the value of a home can be affected by the number on the door. Research by Zoopla found that odd-numbered houses can reach, on average, £538 more than their even-numbered counterparts.

While there is very little you can do with the designated number of your house, you can always choose to name it, and register that name with the Land Registry. Of course, the number will still remain in the address, but a pleasant title for the property can often encourage buyers to ignore the numerical curse.

Go for natural privacy

If you’re lucky enough to have a front garden, or a rear garden that is overlooked by other homes, you may want to invest in some trees. Much research has been conducted into the effect of trees and hedges on a street, and property values can be as much as five per cent lower if there aren’t any. The benefits of trees and hedges are obvious – the contrasting colours, the improved air quality and noise reduction from roads – but it is the privacy those plants provide that entices buyers and increases property values. After all, it’s always nice to be able to sunbathe privately in your own garden during the few warm days we get per year.

Campaign for development

While many people would prefer companies not to build supermarkets, stadiums, and golf courses near their homes – they may change their tune if they knew the mere presence of those developments can send your home’s value shooting through the roof. Having a supermarket nearby can raise the value of a property by as much as a whopping £40,000 (depending on the quality of the brand), and having a golf course within a reasonable distance of your domicile can increase the value of your home by a shocking 56 per cent. So if large companies begin to question residents regarding their support for large developments such as these, it may be worth letting those who live nearby know about the benefits.

Unfortunately, there are always some homes that are impossible to sell in a short time-frame. This can be because of structural issues, bad neighbours, or simply due to a lack of local amenities. Luckily, National Homebuyers are always willing to buy any home, regardless of condition or location, and are constantly inundated by clients who need to sell their homes fast for the sake of a new job, or simply to be closer to family.

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 property online

Not happy with your local agent? In this blog, we’re going to look at the best ways to sell your home online.

Where to sell a property online

As technology progresses, the traditional method of buying and selling property via a high street estate agent is slowly disappearing. In the last five years alone, almost 2,500 estate agents have permanently shut their doors as online rivals continue to thrive, offering flat rate fees and the ability to market listings nationally without the need for a brick and mortar storefront.

There are currently three main ways to sell property online. The first is through one of many online estate agents such as Purplebricks or Emoov. These agents employ regional specialists around the country who negotiate with potential buyers once they signal their interest in a property via the website.

The second main way is to use a traditional agent who will list the house on an online portal such as Rightmove, a website that has exploded in popularity since its inception almost 20 years ago.

The third method is often preferred by those who wish to sell their property online fast, and that is via a house buying company such as National Homebuyers, who will purchase any house, regardless of location or condition, without the delays that are often associated with estate agents.

Selling a property online vs other methods

The key benefit of selling a property online is the number of potential buyers you can reach. In the days of old, the only people who would see your home for sale are those who happened to wander past your estate agent’s window. Nowadays, however, your home can be viewed 24 hours a day by anyone with an internet connection.

Of course, rapid growth often encourages controversy – and this is especially true with some of the online estate agents. Both Purplebricks and Emoov have faced lawsuits from clients over hidden costs, and they have been on the receiving end of several warnings from the advertising watchdog as a result.

Tips for selling a property online

If you want to sell your house online, there are some things you can do to encourage buyers to notice your listing:

How to sell a property online quickly

One issue with online agents is the speed with which a sale can be completed, as listings can often become lost in the sheer number of houses for sale. And as certain vendors use the ability to promote their listings for a cost, those who are unable to afford a premium listing for their home can often find themselves waiting a long time for an interested party to call – often leading to lower sold house prices.

Luckily, if a vendor needs to sell their house fast, they can always enlist the help of a house buying company who are able to purchase a home in as little as two weeks from the first point of contact. The benefits of companies such as National Homebuyers is that receiving your quote is absolutely free, and many clients are surprised how much they can get for their home.

With a slowed market, many individuals have found their life has been put on hold as they wait for a buyer to make an offer, preventing them from moving closer to family or to a new area for a new job – and in these instances, a house buying company is always the best option.

Looking to sell your home online 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.

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.

Is this the end for high street estate agents?

Estate agents appear to be the latest victim of the modern high street as consumers move to online competitors.

The face of the UK high street has undergone a dramatic change over the last 15 years as a result of increased internet-based competition and lofty overheads. In many town centres, it’s hard to ignore the increased visibility of coffee, vape and charity shops while big names such as Woolworths, BHS, and Maplin are nowhere to be seen.

Unbeknownst to many, there is another sector that has suffered greatly as wage levels continue to stagnate and sold house prices continue to rise, and that is the local high street estate agent.

While big hitters such as Emoov and Purplebricks have been snapping up market share thanks to their lower overheads and their ability to market their listings nationally, localised private agencies are facing the executioners block at a frightening pace.

This news is backed up by new research from prominent estate agency DJ Alexander Ltd. Who have found that in just the last five years, 2,446 agents have closed their doors amid falling profits.

Thanks to the internet, the need for a brick and mortar store front to reach customers is no longer necessary, and those agencies who have failed to move with the times are finding that more and more prospective house-buyers prefer to search for listings from the comfort of their own homes without sauntering from agent to agent on a gloomy weekday morning.

“The internet has undercut much of the High Street in the retail and other sectors over the last five years and this is likely to continue,” said David Alexander, managing director of the Edinburgh and Glasgow-based agents.

“The generational and cultural change is enormous. For most people under 40 the idea of wandering from shop to shop in city centres is alien to them and they conduct many of their purchases on their phones, tablets, or computers.

However, as more and more vendors choose to list their homes with a concentrated number of online companies, they often find that the battle for visibility against other sellers makes it increasingly hard to sell their home fast at an appropriate value.

It must be no wonder, then, that more and more people are choosing to sell with National Homebuyers, a house-buying company who are always happy to buy any home, at competitive prices with a quick turnaround on completion.

Looking for a quick and easy 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.

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 online

In times gone by, the methods by which an individual could sell their home were extremely limited. However, thanks to the rise of the internet and e-commerce, vendors have a multitude of options available to them.

Thanks to numerous headlines regarding the underhanded business practices of a small number of individuals, the reputation of high street estate agents in the eyes of the public has suffered somewhat over the last decade, inspiring vendors to look for other ways to market their homes. In this blog, we’re going to take a brief look at how to sell a house online, and how the majority of online house sales work.

Where to sell a house online

If you’re thinking of selling your house online, you’ll be happy to know that there are a wide range of opportunities just waiting to be taken advantage of – some of which are more attractive than others.

In recent years, there has been a steady rise in the number of online agents willing to offer cut-price, or flat-rate deals to vendors who wish to sell their homes. The benefit of large national companies such as these is that their online visibility ensures that any attempt to subvert the client will often be noticed immediately by industry watchdogs or customer forums.

While they are, by and large, a fantastic value alternative to the traditional route of high street agents, there have been times where their conduct has been called into question. Examples of these incidents involve most of the prominent brands such as Purplebricks, eMoov, and Hatched – with many of the allegations linked to inaccurate marketing and hidden fees.

On the bright side, the increased competition, combined with the aim of maintaining their brand reputation in the online world means that it is in their best interest to perform in a manner befitting that of a reliable estate agent.

In today’s society, life seems to move at an unprecedented pace, and as a result, being tied down to a single location can often have a detrimental effect on one’s career or life goals.

While those who wish to sell – but are in no particular rush to do so – are able to patiently list their house on an online estate agent’s website, others may find themselves needing a fast house sale in a short time frame. In these situations, there are few better options than a house-buying company.

The advantage of a house-buying company is the ability to complete on a sale in as little as two weeks from the day an enquiry is first made. And thanks to the increased competition in this sector of house sales, the quote a vendor receives is often extremely competitive.

Also, while online estate agents are happy to make your listing visible, it is ultimately up to the buyers themselves to decide whether or not your home is worth their time. And as buying a house is more of an emotional than objective decision, if your home doesn’t tick all the boxes on their wish list, you may find your home sitting on the market for a while before you get any enquires – and even then, you may have to lower your asking price to get anywhere.

House-buying companies, on the other hand, are willing to buy any house – regardless of condition or location, which means that a vendor can enter negotiations confident that a sale will be achieved.

Another approach that is gaining momentum is the use of social media to garner attention for a house that is for sale. By providing pictures and an accompanying description on sites such as Facebook or Instagram, a vendor can reach a large number of people – without having to spend a penny.

Of course, this method can be quite hit-and-miss depending on who sees the posts, but if you find one or two individuals who express an interest in your home, you may save yourself thousands in agency fees.

How easy is it to sell a house online?

With a growing number of companies selling you their services, it can often be hard to choose the agency with which you wish to proceed. To ensure that you pick the right one for you, you can always follow the advice of consumer advice companies such as Which? as well as view forums of customer reviews from those who have had experience with the companies beforehand.

Of course, it is important to bear in mind that no company is going to enjoy 100% stellar reviews from previous customers. There are going to be many occasions where the agent has followed procedure to the letter and done their hardest to achieve high sold house prices for their clients, but the odd customer will still not be satisfied. So, take all information with a pinch of salt.

Luckily, once your have picked your agent of choice, the rest of the process is extremely easy – although it may be worth reading some of the tips below to ensure that your home entices potential buyers.

Using a house-buying company is most likely the easiest route of all. With a single phone call, a vendor can get the ball rolling, and if they are happy with the quote they receive – then the house can be sold in a very short amount of time. If they aren’t happy with the quote, then they are under no obligation to continue with the deal – so for the customer, it’s a win-win.

This option is especially useful for vendors who are unable to sell for reasons such as their home being located in an undesirable area, or because of structural issues that would otherwise take thousands of pounds to fix – thousands of pounds that the seller does not necessarily have available. It’s also useful for those who need to sell fast but can’t afford to wait the length of time requested by an online estate agency to find a buyer.

In reality, the ability to sell a house via social media comes down to computer literacy, and whether or not the vendor has a keen eye for marketing and promotion. Those who have a large number of contacts on sites like Facebook, or a large number of followers on sites such as Instagram or Twitter may find it easier than others – but that doesn’t mean you can’t try.

By using search engine optimisation along with good sales experience – not to mention an excellent grasp of the English language – any one with the drive and desire to succeed stands a good chance of selling their home via social media.

Top tips for selling a house online

No matter which method you choose to sell your home, there are always some universal pieces of advice that can help encourage a buyer to make a reasonable offer. So, if you’re thinking of selling your home through any of the methods above, make sure you follow these simple rules.

No matter how nice your home is, nobody will give a messy, unclean house a second thought. While it may be a pain to keep your house at showroom levels of cleanliness, it’s worth it if you manage to sell your home fast.

While your friends may think that your quirky tastes are a wonderful part of your personality, they can easily get in the way of a successful house sale. A buyer wants to be able to see themselves living in a house they browse, and the best way to help them achieve this is by removing as much of your influence from it as possible. This means ensuring the walls are painted a plain colour such as cream or white, and any odd furniture is either removed or covered appropriately.

Try to put your home on the market during either spring or autumn. In summer, buyers tend to be busy with their children; going on holiday; and engaging in other activities, and in the winter, Christmas spending and the shorter days discourage many from their search. During spring and autumn however, the market often flourishes, and as a result, there will be many more potential buyers looking at making a purchase.

Your home may be beautiful, but unless your photos reflect this, then anyone browsing for a new home is likely to ignore your listing – so do yourself a favour and hire a photographer who knows what they’re doing.

If you’re using an online agent, spending a little extra on a premium listing can help your home stand out from the crowd. However, you still need to make sure your house is appropriately priced or the extra web traffic will go to waste.

It isn’t easy, but ensuring that either you or your partner are available to show any interested parties around your home is a huge part of finding a buyer. It may be a pain, but when it comes to selling, the buyer’s schedule is much more important than your own.

Looking online 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.

Vendors cutting asking prices to encourage sales

With agencies across the country encouraging sellers to make repeated cuts to their asking prices in the hopes of achieving a sale, a growing number of vendors are choosing less traditional routes to find a buyer.

Selling a house is long and complicated process for any owner – but there is always an underlying feeling that it will somehow all be worth it once the sale is complete and you can revel in additional profit you have made thanks to your larger equity stake and the accompanying inflation.

Imagine, then, the distress felt by a growing number of vendors in the current economic climate who are being advised by their agents to drop their asking price if they wish to achieve a fast house sale.

Back in November 2017, the online property portal Rightmove revealed that more than a third of home owners in the process of selling their home had been forced to lower their asking price – the greatest number of cuts since 2012.

As the average cut appeared to be just under one per cent, it was easy to dismiss this as a negligible difference. However, Rightmove also revealed that vendors who had already reduced their prices were often being urged to make further cuts, and while a single per cent drop in price may seem insignificant given the average prices of houses across the UK, depending on the value of the house, that single per cent could end up costing a less-wealthy seller a larger than anticipated amount of money.

It is somewhat unsurprising to hear, then, that many vendors are choosing to investigate other possible means by which they can sell their homes, hoping to gain an advantage over some of the more depressing sold house prices of similar properties.

Some vendors are choosing to forgo the option of an estate agent at all – after all, with a hesitant market, a large number of agents are seeing their profits plummeting, and their motivation to encourage a seller to cut their asking price may not necessarily be for benefit of their client, but to ensure that they themselves can balance the books at the end of the month.

Other options include the use of social media and word-of-mouth to garner interest from potential buyers, as well as advertising on property portals directly – cutting out the middle man. Others, however, are choosing a more dependable path, such as the use of house buying companies.

Companies such as National Homebuyers aim to complete sales in an incredibly short timeframe, often in as little as two weeks. And thanks to the lack of an estate agent and their accompanying fees, these purchases will often be completed without additional expenditure on the part of the seller, allowing them to sell their home – regardless of condition or location – and move on with their lives.

Of course, some vendors will prefer to take the traditional route of high street agents, but more honourable established London based agencies encourage buyers to ignore their own agent’s calls for repeated smaller cuts in favour of a single larger cut to drum up interest in their home.

“It’s vital they don’t discount their home in dribs and drabs,” said Lucy Pendleton, of the London estate agent James Pendleton.

“By dropping the asking price in increments all you succeed in doing is making your property look stale and unwanted, with none of the surge in viewings that a keen discount can bring.”

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.

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:

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.

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:

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.

Thousands to lose mortgage support benefit from April 2018

As a result of continued efforts by the government to reduce the national debt, many are finding that it is those living in low-income households who are bearing the brunt of the austerity measures.

Since 1948, those who own a house but struggle to keep up with their mortgage payments have always had a lifeline – the Support for Mortgage Interest scheme. Introduced to prevent thousands of low-income households from losing their homes, the SMI has been a godsend for many older people who, today, still rely on it to ensure that they can keep a roof over their heads.

Thanks to favourable interest terms and a strong economy during the 1960s and 1970s, many buyers took the option of an interest-only mortgage rather than a repayment-based equivalent due to the minimal monthly repayments. But what once appeared to be a sensible idea is, today, beginning to look like a bad decision.

The Tories, in an effort to reduce the national debt, have decided that from April 2018, this benefit will be axed – replaced by the opportunity to take out a ‘loan’ from the government that must be paid back upon sale or relinquishment of ownership.

Consequently, many experts have pointed out that those who need the SMI scheme are hardly in a position to afford a further repayment plan on top of their own mortgage – a mortgage they are already having trouble finding the funds for.

Across the UK, there are currently 124,000 individuals who rely on the benefit, with over half of those in retirement age. This situation is partially due to the fact that pension credit is one of the qualifying criteria for the scheme. However, it isn’t just the retired population who are going to be affected, as many people on income support, as well as those on jobseeker’s allowance will also find their safety net removed in four months’ time.

The government have stated that the current status quo is unsustainable, and that because the repayments will not need to be made until the properties in question are sold or passed on to another individual, it will not have a great effect on those who need the loan in the short-term. Unfortunately, many industry experts are worried that thanks to the addition of interest rates to these ‘loans’, the government will be profiting from those who are most at risk of losing their homes.

“The government needs to make sure people have the help and advice they need to decide whether or not to take out a second mortgage to pay for this,” claimed a spokesperson from mutual insurer Royal London.

“But instead, thousands of people are getting letters that miss crucial details such as the interest rate on the mortgage.”

This situation, combined with the government’s plan to remove the ability of those on the Universal Credit scheme from using their benefits as proof of earnings when applying for a mortgage on a home of any value, it appears that those from low-income backgrounds may be forced into renting for life, which will ultimately reduce the number of people who can afford to buy a home from an owner who needs to sell their house fast.

No offers 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.

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.

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:

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.

Why can’t I sell my house?

If you find yourself in the unenviable position of being unable to sell your home, fear not – as there are always steps you can take to maximise your chances of a successful sale.

Selling a house is often described by those who have been through the process as a complete and utter nightmare. However, many of these people do not view the actual ‘sale’ as the greatest source of stress – that special award goes to the strain of praying that the timing of your sale, the timing of your purchase, and completion of the relevant paperwork are all completed within a reasonable time frame.

For a surprisingly large number of vendors, a planned purchase often falls through as a result of a failure to sell their own house, with a prospective buyer letting them down at the last moment. If you’re in this position, you may be asking yourself “Why is my house not selling?” Luckily, in this blog we’ll be looking at some of the most commonly cited reasons.

Why won’t my house sell?

There are a wealth of motives for a buyer to pull out of a sale – however it is important to note that being able to address these issues is not always within your control.

Bad presentation

Have you ever looked, and we mean really looked at your house? Have you ever stood back and put yourself in the shoes of a prospective buyer who’s trying to work out how much your house is worth to them? It’s often easy, as a homeowner, to ignore the lack of varnish on the window frames, or the bad paintwork on the lower half of the front door – but as a buyer, these things stick out like a sore thumb. For many individuals who are in the market to buy, cluttered window sills, a front yard or garden that is overrun by weeds, or even uneven paving can severely limit the likelihood of a viewing becoming a purchase.

Overpricing

Many homeowners mistakenly believe that buying a house guarantees a higher return upon its sale. The market itself can fluctuate in strength depending on the political landscape, area re-development or even time of year, and consequently, many owners end up asking themselves “why won’t my house sell?” even though they have placed their home on the market at a price 20% higher than a comparable property nearby. Most owners should expect to be low-balled with initial offers, and so a slightly higher asking price can be acceptable – but outlandish figures are guaranteed to deter buyers.

Location

Those who have owned their homes for a long time may realise that local amenities and services that were once available nearby are no longer there. Alternatively, maybe the area within which the house is situated is no longer a great choice for locals due to a lack of nearby jobs. As mentioned earlier, the political landscape can transform the attractiveness of any given region in a relatively short length of time. As a result, the reasons that led to you originally buying the house may no longer be valid for potential buyers.

Anti-social behaviour and crime

Do you live in a deprived area where crime is on the rise? Have you, in the past, had to deal with difficult neighbours? While many buyers forget to check crime statistics, they will often check with their agent and other nearby residents regarding day-to-day experiences on your street and whether or not there are any reasons to avoid a purchase. And unfortunately, even the odd disgruntled neighbour will be enough to put them off.

So, what can I do if I’m struggling to sell my house?

Luckily, some of the aforementioned issues can be easily rectified with little effort. In terms of presentation, a pot of paint and varnish from the local DIY store are a great investment to really make your home stand out from the crowd. You could also invest in a new front door to gain a buyer’s attention, as well as use weed killer on your garden or yard. Many sellers even hire power-washers to remove the build up of carbon that often leaves the outer walls of their homes looking shabby and undesirable. In short, a little effort goes a long way to encourage a sale.

If you do need to sell your house fast, it may be worth taking a small hit financially to ensure a sale in reasonable time. You can, of course, leave your home on the market for months, but the longer it stays on the market the more questions prospective buyers will have – and in all likelihood, an agent will advise you to lower your asking price after a certain length of time regardless. Getting the asking price right is an important part of encouraging a quick sale, so consider employing a surveyor to carry out a quick valuation of the property.

Unfortunately, when it comes to location or crime, there is little that you, as a seller, can do to increase the likelihood of a sale. If there are nearby amenities or services that are not immediately obvious to those who are not local, it can be worth writing a pamphlet containing any relevant information for anyone who comes for a viewing. Even better, realise that many prospective buyers will have different priorities to you, and that your worries about the distance to local services may not be an issue to them.

If you are aware of an increasing level of crime in your area, you can always appeal to your local council to have a greater police presence in an effort to reduce the frequency of offences nearby. You can also apply to the council to have graffiti removed, as well as damage to public property such as pavements and road signs fixed. Many residents in undesirable areas even form Neighbourhood Watch schemes – investing in CCTV cameras and community spirit to keep wrongdoers away.

Of course, sometimes you can be left screaming “Why is my house not selling?!” after months of exasperation due to viewings that never lead to an offer. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t sell. Luckily, there are property buying companies such as National Homebuyers who will buy your home for cash regardless of location or situation – and with most sales completed from start to finish in as little as seven days, you can savour the chance to finally move on with your life.

Can’t sell 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.

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.

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.

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.

How to sell a house at an auction

When a seller is faced with several different options to sell their house, they often find the prospect of using an auctioneers quiet tempting. But how do auction houses work? And are they worth your time and trouble?

How confident are you that your house is a purchaser’s dream? Do you like to gamble? Are you willing to risk your investment for a chance to strike it rich?

These are among the first questions anyone considering selling a house in an auction should ask themselves. We’ve all heard stories of property owners who took a chance that paid off in spades, and this often piques our interest – but bear in mind, those sellers whose make-it-rich-quick plans backfired spectacularly are unlikely to be overly vocal about it.

So how do you auction a house?

An auctioneer is simply another means of presenting your home to potential sellers, much like an estate agent or through private listings. Similar to estate agents, auctioneers will take a percentage of the profit – often between 2-3% – so it is in their best interests to sell for as high a price as possible.

However, the work necessary for an auctioneer to attempt to sell your house means that even if your home does not sell, you will still be liable for their costs, often in the range of £1,200-£1,500 plus VAT. There are many auctioneers across the country, so if you are planning on taking this route for a quick house sale, ensure you find a local business that knows your area well.

What are the benefits of auctioning a home?

To put it simply, speed. Once the hammer is down, the winning bid needs to pay a 10% deposit to secure the property. After the auction, the buyer must present the full amount of funds within 28 days – which helps to prevent gazumping – or the sale will fall through and the deposit will not be refunded.

What is the guide or reserve price at an auction?

For those who wish to know how to sell a house at auction, it’s important to not to be confused between the two. An auctioneer and seller will provide two separate prices to entice buyers:

  • A guide price is provided to buyers through marketing and lets them know the price at which bidding for the property is most likely to start.
  • A reserve price is the minimum price that they would accept in order to part with the property. Of course, if the reserve price is not met, the seller is still liable for the auctioneer’s fees.

What are the disadvantages of selling a house at auction?

The greatest worry facing a buyer at an auction is the failure to know the future. Those who do choose to use an auction house should fit into the following criteria to stand a chance of a successful outcome:

  • Your house is hard to value – some houses are simply so unique that there are no comparables in the area. For this reason, estate agents could undervalue the property in an effort to encourage a sale. Buyers who frequent auctions are usually more likely to pay a higher price for distinctive, rare houses.
  • Your house needs renovation – many buyers at auctions also tend to be investors and will pay good money for a property that they can quickly renovate before making a swift sale and pocketing the difference.
  • Your house has sitting tenants – for those looking for a bargain that can immediately pay dividends in the form of rental payments, houses that already have sitting tenants save landlords from extra legwork.

Many sellers who start to research how to sell a normal-everyday house at auction soon discover a few depressing facts that often encourage them to reconsider:

  • An everyday house is not an attractive prospect for most buyers – hence why standard homes often sell for as little as 40% of their market value.
  • Auction houses are there for people with a lot of disposable cash who a looking for a bargain whose aim is to buy your house for as little as possible.
  • While you can often pass all associated auction fees to the buyer in the small-print, more astute buyers will make note of this and ultimately drive down the price during bidding.

While auctions may be fast, there are better, safer, ways of achieving a quick house sale, such as house buying companies who offer competitive prices with excellent communication throughout the whole process, and if you don’t feel the offer is right for you, you can pull out of the deal without any further penalisation.

Need a quick sale but don’t want to use an auctioneer? 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.

Southern rail strikes hit house prices

Commuters are getting hit twofold by the ongoing Southern rail dispute. Not only are the recent rail strikes disrupting their journeys but now the strikes are actually having an effect on the value of their properties as well.

According to eMoov, an online estate agent, house prices are growing slower around stations on Southern Rail lines than England as a whole. House prices in these areas have reached just 6.5% over the last 12 months compared to the national average of 7.6%. This shows that the Southern rail disputes have caused some house prices to grown at a slower rate of 1.1% lower than the national average.

Using data from Zoopla, eMoov collected the average price paid and value change surrounding each station across all nine of the Southern rail network lines to come up with this result.

The Mainline West section and the Coastway of the network have been hardest hit, with prices growing just 0.2% in the last six months.

The Founder and CEO of eMoov, Russell Quirk, said:

“This research really highlights the impact external factors can have on a property’s value in the market. Often, the close proximity of good commuter links into London, in particular, can help increase the asking price of a property.

“In this instance, strike action, poor service, canceled trains and long delays have had the reverse effect on property prices on the Southern rail network. It is worrying to think that something outside of your control can not only be detrimental to your work life but can also spill over into your personal life as well.”

“Southern rail staff must forgive UK homeowners for remaining unsympathetic to their cause when their selfish actions are inadvertently depreciating the most expensive asset they are ever likely to own.”

 

Southeast Rail

UK house price growth will slow to 3% in 2017

RICSThe Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) housing forecast for 2017 predicts that house prices in the UK will see an average increase of 3% over the course of next year as the number of transactions stabilises.

A year ago, the RICS predicted price rises of 6% and official figures are on track to meet that, with October’s annual growth rate at 6.9%.

The RICS forecasted that the legacy of insufficient house building will mean that demand will outstrip supply. RICS said it expected this supply issues will continue to drive prices upwards over the next 12 months.

“Following on from the 2016 forecast, the supply pipeline or lack of it is at the forefront of the analysis and dominates the residential market…..While there is an improvement, the legacy of building on an insufficient scale has left the average inventory on estate agents’ books close to a historic low.”

RICS predicts that East Anglia, the North West and West Midlands will see gains above the national average during 2017. Meanwhile, prices in Central London look set to stabilise after recent declines, with support provided by the weaker exchange rate encouraging foreign buyers.

RICS also feels that its proposed ban on letting fees is clouding the picture for both prices and rents, which it believed would also grow by up to 3% over the coming 12 months.

 

People could save £450,000 (60%) on the average cost of a house by simply moving out of London

According to research by Lloyds bank, people working in London could save themselves almost £450,000 or 60% on the cost of a house if they chose to live outside of the city and commute into London every day.

The study shows that average house prices drop by 60% from £741,919 in central London to £294,903 in towns such as Wellingborough and Chatham that are only an hour away from London.

Lloyds continue to say that even when taking into account the typical annual rail cost for a one-hour daily commute each way at £4,989, a commuter would have to make the same journey for 89 years for the total rail costs to wipe out the benefit in house prices.

 

The top 5 most affordable commuter towns outside of London for house prices are:

⦁ Wellingborough in Northamptonshire
⦁ Peterborough in Cambridgeshire
⦁ Kettering in Northamptonshire
⦁ Chatham in Kent
⦁ Swindon in Wiltshire

In Wellingborough in Northamptonshire is seen as the most affordable commuter town, where the average house price of £183,345 is 4.1 times the average annual earnings for central London workers. The next most affordable town outside of London is Peterborough in Cambridgeshire where the average house price is 4.2 times the typical annual earnings in London, at £189,319.

If you don’t wish to be that far from London, then towns such as Hatfield, Billericay, Orpington and Reading are only about 40 minutes away from London. In these towns you could potentially save 48% or £353,000 compared to London’s house prices. The average house prices in these towns is around £389,000 and with a lower average annual rail pass cost at £3,534.

Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank mortgage products director, said:

“Commuters to London who don’t mind a longer journey between home and work could reap the financial benefits of living outside of the capital.”

“However, the decision of whether to live in the city or further away is not simply a trade-off between financial costs and journey times. Quality of life is also a major factor: family circumstances, better schools, physical environment and homes that offer better value for money also come into the equation,”

Mr Mason continued:

“That explains why, especially outside London, commuters are often prepared to pay a premium to commute when they could be better off in purely financial terms living closer to their place of work.”

Why not sell your London home and move outside of the city to save yourself a lot of money. 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.

Let our friendly sell house fast team guide you through our quick move now  fast house sale process.

Why not check out our National Homebuyers reviews.

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.

Let our friendly sell house fast team guide you through our quick move now  fast house sale process for your city:

 

 

How much is my house worth?

Property is normally the most valuable possession you will buy and sell. Finding out how much your home is worth is easy thanks to a new online property value estimator tool.

National Homebuyers Property Value EstimatorIf you are looking to sell your property and would like to find out what it is worth than simply place your information into the National Homebuyers Property Value Estimator. This property value estimator is a useful tool to get a quick and easy estimate of how much your property might be worth.

Even if you are not planning on selling your house just yet, this new property value estimator tool is a great way of conducting a free house valuation. In fact, this new tool will give you the value of every home in the UK – whether it’s for sale or not, which is a very useful starting place if you’re planning on buying or selling a house.

All prices provided are an estimate based on information from the Land Registry and our own prediction algorithm. However, a true market price will be influenced by aspects such as economic stability, interest rates, mortgage availability, geographical trends, the condition of the property and general consumer confidence. National Homebuyers property value estimator can’t actually tell you what a buyer would be prepared to offer for your property.

Property Value EstimatorIf you are planning on selling your house and you are looking for a more realistic price for your house based on other factors that this value tool does not take into consideration – such as home improvements, an extension or your garden size – National Homebuyers will include this and more when we calculate your properties current cash value, simply give us a called on 08000 443 911. Here at National Homebuyers, we buy any house, in any condition, anywhere in the UK.

Get your free property estimate today with National Homebuyers.

Our official press release can be found here – National Homebuyers Launches Property Value Estimator

About National Homebuyers.

National Homebuyers are the UK’s first and leading property purchasing company, we bought our first house back in June 2004. We have helped, and continue to help, thousands of people across the UK and all of our clients are looking for a quick cash sale for their property. Here at National Homebuyers, we believe every property is different and therefore should be valued on its own individual merits. Unlike most other property buying companies, we construct our offer by performing dedicated research into the property itself, as well as its surrounding area and local amenities. By doing this, and not working to set percentages or averages, it allows us to provide the most competitive cash offer quickly and within a timescale to suit all customers.

For more information call 08000 443 911

Are dream houses earning more than buyers?

Gloom is spreading among many potential UK homebuyers who learn that their desired homes are earning more than they do, thanks to the ever-widening gap between wages and house prices.

no money house pricesSeeing the chances of purchasing a house slip further and further away is not a feeling any potential buyer wants to experience – and as new figures show, the rapid increase in house prices is hard to ignore.

For some who already own, this is welcome news as inflation increases their asset wealth, removing the necessity to fund larger deposits for their next purchase. But the figures may pose a potential problem for the market’s future, as the number of new buyers entering the market could begin to dwindle, leading to a greater slowdown in sales across the country.

The south-east is currently exhibiting the greatest gains for homeowners, with those in Three Rivers, Hertfordshire enjoying an increase of £147,000 in two years – almost triple the average wage for the area.

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While the largest benefits to homeowners are focused around London and the south-east, many other areas such as east and West Midlands are also enjoying a bump in value – albeit a little less extreme – gaining almost £20,000 in value per home during 2014 and 2015.

But is it all good news? For those living in highly desirable areas, absolutely – there will always be a steady stream of buyers more than happy to empty their wallets to move into more valuable homes.

Those in less sought-after regions, however, are likely to struggle to find people who can afford soaring prices, ultimately stifling social mobility for potential buyers and causing them to get further entrenched in the rent-trap.

Luckily, those living in these less popular areas have other options if looking for a quick house sale, such as property buying companies who offer competitive rates in cash for any home, allowing the owner to move on with their lives without experiencing the arduous and stressful house selling process.

Are you struggling to find a buyer for your home? Why not avoid the stress and get a quick sale for cash? National Homebuyers will buy any house – so call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

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London’s property market finally starting to slow down

In London the median average salary is just £30,338 however if you wished to purchase a property in our country’s capital you will be looking at an average price tag of £522,000. House prices in London are almost actually three times the national average of £191,812.

This also means that London’s house prices are more than ten times peoples earnings. Wage growth in London is currently stagnant and isn’t keeping up with inflation and soaring house prices in the city.

The UK’s recent return to economic growth, high employment and persistently low interest rates, have all fuelled the growing house prices and to date it has been expected they will continue to rise relentlessly.

However in HSBC’s recent UK Housing Chartbook, the bank suggests that London’s soaring property market may actually be starting to slowdown.

The chart below, taken from data compiled by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), shows that London ranked second to bottom when it came to price growth in February.

hsbc london housing

Source: RICS

The next chart, also sourced from RICS, shows that most regions in the UK are expecting to see house prices grow over the next 3 months, London will actually see a big drop into negative territory.

hsbc london housing

Source: RICS

These charts, taken from HSBC’s report, show that London’s crazy rise in house prices is finally starting to lose its unstoppable momentum.

Rics chief economist, Simon Rubinsohn believes this drop in house prices in London will partially be the result of the UK’s introduction of an extra 3% tax on landlords and second home buyers.

Mr Rubinsohn said: “It is inevitable that over the coming months, April’s stamp duty changes will take a little of the heat out of the investor market.”

He went on to say “Anecdotal evidence suggests tax changes, concerns over Brexit and global economic uncertainty are all taking their toll on buyer sentiment in the capital.”

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If you are looking to sell your house fast than we are here to help. Our team of property experts are always on hand to share their expertise with you and help you achieve your aim of selling your house fast in a time scale that suits you and not us. So if you want to sell your house fast than give us a call on 08000 443 911.

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Pace of house prices slows to 6.7% in 2015

Office for National StatisticsAccording to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) house prices in the UK rose by 6.7% in 2015. This shows a significant slowdown in UK house prices compared to the 9% rise reported by the ONS in 2014. This represents a fall in value of £18,000 compared to the average home in the UK which was valued at £288,000 at the end of the 2014.

The ONS reported that prices in 2015 increased fastest in Eastern England with a 9.7% increase with Scotland at the other end of the scale with a fell in house prices of 0.2% during 2015.

The breakdown of where house prices rose fastest in 2015 can be seen below:

house price rises

Looking at other organisations that have made predictions relating to house prices in 2015, we can see that there has been a substantial variation here.

Halifax presented the highest prediction with their published figure of 9.5%, whereas Nationwide Building Society believed the figure was much lower, stating that UK house prices only increased by 4.5%. The ONS, who’s figures are regarded as the most reliable data on house prices, show that both of these predictions are way off the mark.

These figures are a positive sign for UK home-owners but experts are still warning that these increases far outstrips the 2% wage growth figure, meaning a continue housing crisis in the UK.

Jan Crosby, head of housing at accountants KPMG, who believes this crisis will only worsen if the supply of new homes in the UK isn’t increased,  told the Guardian newspaper:

“In 2005, the average price of a home was £186,000 – by 2015 it was £288,000. An increase of more than £100,000, or 55%, in just 10 years is concerning. In 2005, average annual earnings were £18,949 and by 2015 the ONS recorded them as £22,487. If we don’t see reform, in another 10 years the gap between house prices and earnings may have become truly impassable.”

National Homebuyers – We Buy Any House

we guarantee to buy any home for cashNational Homebuyers will buy any house or property in any condition!

If you are looking to sell your house fast than we are here to help. Our team of property experts are always on hand to share their expertise with you and help you achieve your aim of selling your house fast in a time scale that suits you and not us. So if you want to sell your house fast than give us a call on 08000 443 911.

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Is London facing a mass exodus of homeowners?

Rising living costs and prohibitive transport prices are forcing young talent to rule out the capital as a prospective place to live and raise a family, eschewing the career benefits that the city offers.

Houses rising in value homeownersIt’s no secret that many view property prices in London as extortionate, with homes costing up to 13 times the average worker’s wage and skilled service workers having to work in the region of 14 years just to afford a deposit on a 60sqm house. For many decades, this has been an acceptable part of the capital’s lifestyle, where the benefits of job availability, high levels of pay and the ‘bragging rights’ of living at the epicentre of the international business world are worth the hassle of expensive living.

Recently, however, the tide has shown a change of direction – and the number of those leaving London to enjoy shorter commutes and cheaper living is rising rapidly. Even those whose families have lived in the capital for generations are upping sticks and fleeing to pastures new.

London itself has always attracted highly-skilled workers to help it solidify its position as the most successful city on the planet, but it is now facing a huge crisis, as those same workers are finding the living costs too much to bear. In a recent poll, four out of five Londoners in their twenties admitted to considering leaving the city for good, begging the question how long the capital will continue to function at such a high level if it can’t retain the best talent?

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The greatest concern for attracting talent is that many younger people of child-rearing age are slowly realising that they would be unable to afford to raise a family in London, so would be forced to choose between their career and the urge to have children.

Another huge issue for those looking to move out of the capital is finding a UK homebuyer with the necessary wealth to afford their homes, along with the huge day-to-day expenditure the city requires. However, considering that many moving to the city are in house-sharing situations due to exorbitant rent prices, the pool of those wealthy enough to buy a London home is becoming smaller and smaller.

Of course, there are other options for sellers, such as house buying companies who can help those looking for a quick house sale and will buy any home for cash, but the continuing exodus of workers (63,000 families in 2015 alone) does not bode well for the city’s future – with Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham-based companies offering similar career prospects but with a cheaper lifestyle and a shorter commute, leaving London facing the prospect of a talent vacuum.

Are you one of the many homeowners looking to sell your house quickly? Ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we guarantee to buy any home. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

UK exit from the EU could result in house prices dropping by 5%

Prime Minister David Cameron announced over the weekend that there will be a referendum in the UK to stay or leave the EU on 23 June 2016. Online estate agent eMoov has predicted that if the UK votes to leave the EU than house prices could potentially drop by 5% or more. They believe that it won’t necessarily be leaving the EU itself that could see house prices drop, but the air of uncertainty that will have a detrimental impact on the market.

Since the UK joined the EU in 1973, the average house price has increased by over 2,000%. However this new report by eMoov suggests that a “Brexit” (the term used to described the British exit from the EU) could mean that the average UK homeowner could see their property fall in value by more than £11,000.

In this survey eMoov polled over 1,000 UK homeowners and found 55% of those asked, believed leaving the EU would affect the value of their property. Just over a third (34%) think they could increase; while 21% think they could decrease.

Russell Quirk, Founder and CEO of eMoov.co.uk stated that

“An EU exit would cause a nervous ripple effect across the UK, with homeowners and potential buyers choosing to baton down the hatches and weather the potential uncertain economic storm, before committing to such a notable financial decision.”

He went on to say:

“Should the UK public vote to leave the EU, we believe it could have a detrimental knock on effect to the UK property market. We’ve been part of the EU for over 40 years now, so it’s understandable that such a momentous change will lead to uncertainty amongst the UK public, as to the resulting implications an exit will have on them. This air of uncertainty will lead to inaction amongst those looking to buy and sell and the resulting dwindle in demand, will always lead to a reduction in house prices.”

National Homebuyers – We Buy Any House

National Homebuyers will buy any house or property!

If you are looking to sell your house fast than we are here to help. Our team of property experts are always on hand to share their expertise with you and help you achieve your aim of selling your house fast in a time scale that suits you and not us. So if you want to sell your house fast than give us a call on 08000 443 911.

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1 in 4 Properties will be Worth £1m+ by 2030

one million poundsThe number of UK properties worth at least £1 million is expected to more than triple between now and 2030, according to a new report from Santander Mortgages. This means that almost 1.6 million homes in UK will be worth at least £1 million in the next 14 years which equates to one in every four properties.

Using these figures and taking the cost of an average UK home in account, which National Homebuyers knows is £283,565 (according to the Land Registry), this would mean an increase of 23% to £349,300 in just five years and will have nearly doubled by 2030 to a whopping £557,444.

Currently less than half a million homes in the UK are valued at £1 million or more, but according to these new figures which have been put together by LSE Professor of Economic Geography Paul Cheshire in partnership with Santander, this is set to rise to over 1.6 million in just 14 years.

This new report entitled “Property Millionaires: The Growing Housing Divide” has also stated that by 2030, 25% of houses located in London are expected to be valued at £1 million or more, rising to a staggering 70% in some part of the countries capital. The report used official house price figures and considered past patterns in real incomes, population changes, housing construction and interest rates to make the predictions.

The report goes on to point out that this increase in property prices will continue at a fast rate but average incomes over the same period will not raise at the same pace meaning that property could ultimately become unaffordable to first time buyers. At present in the UK, the average property price is 7.9 times the average income, but by 2030, this is expected to hit 9.7 times the average salary.

SantanderMiguel Sard, Managing Director of Mortgages, Santander UK, said:

“Property price inflation will tip many existing home owners into the million pound price bracket but could also price some aspiring buyers out of the market if they don’t have the right support.”

Professor Cheshire adds:

“By 2030 the divide between housing haves at the top and the have-nots at the bottom will be even wider than it is now. More owners will enjoy millionaire status, as homes that many would consider modest fetch seven figure prices in the most sought-after areas. Property price inflation is beneficial for existing owners who will see their net-wealth increase, but it will make entering the market more difficult still for new buyers, further highlighting the importance of the right timing, advice, support and financial planning; and not just having a mum and dad who bought a house but a grandparent too.”

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If you are looking to sell your house fast than we are here to help. Our team of property experts are always on hand to share their expertise with you and help you achieve your aim of selling your house fast in a time scale that suits you. So if you want to sell your house fast than give us a call on 08000 443 911.

Get your no obligation instant cash offer now by using the Get Offer on the right hand side of this page.

The Only Way Is Up – Property Predictions For 2016

None of us know exactly what lies ahead, but experts always have their views; as do everyday people who like to keep a keen eye on their property prospects and wider finances. A recent survey has asked public opinion on a range of issues, including house prices and salaries – and most predictions involve increases.

According to readers of financial website LoveMoney.com, several aspects of our economy could experience a rise in 2016. More than a fifth of survey respondents agreed with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) that house prices were likely to increase by 6% or more, while nearly half also agreed that they would go up, but probably only by up to 5%.

UK homeowners with tracker mortgages are always keen to keep an eye on the Bank Of England’s base rate, for which a rise has long been anticipated in recent times – and LoveMoney’s reader research revealed expectations of a small increase (0.75%) among 49% of people. However, 33% believe nothing will change.

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Meanwhile, 50% of people believe that inflation will increase by 1%; with incomes optimistically expected by nearly half of survey respondents to increase by 2%. If the latter materialises, it could be good news for those hoping to buy homes, who require proof of a good salary to obtain a mortgage – but will the changes come soon enough for home owners keen to achieve a quick house move?

Opinions on the stock market were more varied, with 33% believing there would be an increase of 5% or less, but other opinion divided between consistency (18%), a fall of 5% (17%), an increase of up to 10% (12%) and other potential changes.

If you’d like to improve your personal financial situation by selling your home, ask National Homebuyers for advice. We’ll buy any property and can help you sell your house quickly.

Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get.

National Homebuyers – We Buy Any House

National Homebuyers are UK property buyers who will buy any house or property!

If you are looking to sell your house fast then we are here to help. Our team of property experts are always on hand to share their expertise with you and help you achieve your aim of selling your house fast in a time scale that suits you and not us. So if you want a to sell your house fast  then give us a call on 08000 443 911.

Get your no obligation cash offer now by using the Get Offer on the right hand side of this page.

House prices will be up 50% and rents 25% by 2025

Rents are set to sky-rocket, and buying a house is getting further out of reach for many, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) Housing 2025 report. Compiled with Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), the report predicts the state of the property market in ten years’ time, and suggests what can be done to repair it.

With the average house price currently around £280,000, the Housing 2025 report predicts house prices will increase by half (50%) their current value by 2025 – reaching an average price of £419,000. It’s even worse news for those living in the capital, as house prices are expected to nearly double in the next decade in London, rising from £515,000 to £931,000.

The rise of rental costs

For those planning to enter the rental market in the next few years, the news is just as bleak. Rents are predicted to increase by 27% from a current UK average of £134 per week to £171 in 2025. Again, those living in London will be worse off as they’ll need to pay 34% extra in rent per week by 2025, an increase from the current average of £234, up to £314.

Lower homeownership rates amongst the working age population and the ageing of the baby-boom generation will continue to drive a decline in the proportion of UK households that own their own
home. Currently around 62% of the working population owns their own home; the ARLA and NAEA Housing 2025 report predicts this will fall to 55% in the next ten years.

A declining homeownership rate will boost demand for rental properties, and drive house prices up. The Housing 2025 report also predicts the proportion of private renters in the UK will increase from 20% of households in 2015, to nearly 29% by 2025.

David Cox, managing director, Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) says:

“Buying and renting a home is a giant step, and is out of reach for many. Rent costs are already growing at a rate that people are struggling to keep up with, and they’re due to become even less sustainable over the next decade – particularly when the new landlord tax sets in, which will put off many would-be landlords from entering the market. If we’re to see the property market lifted out of its current state, we need to help the rental market from top down as well as bottom up, ensuring landlords are not penalised for their choice of income, and they can in turn give tenants the best possible price and service they deserve.”

 

Mark Hayward, managing director, National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) says:

“House prices are only going to go one way, and unfortunately that is up. For so many already priced out of the market, this is news aspiring house buyers will not want to hear. Ongoing house price inflation, combined with low wage inflation, tighter lending restrictions and a shortage of affordable housing, means owning a home will continue to be distant dream for many. Increased rental costs will also make it more difficult for current renters to save for a house deposit; as much of their income will be eaten up in rent.”

ARLA and NAEA recommend the following solutions to solve the housing crisis

In order to prevent continued supply shortages and make house prices and rental costs more affordable for the UK’s expanding population, a drastic and immediate policy overhaul is necessary.

  • Giving a wider scope of powers to the Private Rented Sector Taskforce and providing government debt guarantees would encourage large-scale institutional investment into the private rental sector, creating more available properties and helping to bring rental costs down.
  • The government should make a scheme similar to the London Rental Standard mandatory across the country, to create a way of distinguishing letting agents and landlords who maintain their properties to a high standards, thereby improving the condition of private rental properties coming onto the market.
  • The government should continue its effort to revisit the idea of reducing the area of the Green Belt and set up a committee which would explore this possibility in detail.
  • The government should add construction sector occupations, such as brick layers, to its shortage occupation list, making it simpler for employers to hire non-EU nationals.
  •  Longer term, the government should incentivise firms in the construction sector, to offer more apprenticeships and training programmes.
  • The government should form an advisory body in the form of an independent housing policy committee, which is not directly elected.
  • The government should offer a stamp duty exception to pensioners looking to downsize their property.

David Cox, managing director, Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and Mark Hayward, managing director, National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) say:

“Our simple plea before the election was ‘Britain deserves better’. Since the General Election, the government has pledged to solve the acute problems facing the property industry, aiming to build one million new homes before the end of this Parliament in 2020. But words simply aren’t enough. The housing crisis Britain is facing is deep-rooted and if it is to be solved, it will require finance, suitable land, time, new skills and most importantly, the appropriate national regulation of the key stakeholders, not least the estate agents and letting agents that form our membership. We are calling for change – and it needs to happen soon.”