Interest rates have increased again, the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme has launched, and one major lender has reported record annual price rises.
Read on for all this and more in our March property market update.
With the clocks going forward at the end of the month, lighter evenings and Easter just around the corner, the traditional Springtime boom could also be on its way! And none too soon as there is still a desperate shortage of housing stock.
Here are some of our predictions for what to expect next month…
Now is the time to sell
Figures recently released by leading property portal Rightmove have revealed that the UK’s average property price saw its most significant month-on-month increase for 20 years between January and February this year.
According to their stats, the average asking price of a property rose by £7,785 in the first two months of the year, as sellers have increasingly been taking advantage of a shortage of homes for sale.
The figures have also revealed the startling increase in house prices since the start of the pandemic, with average asking prices having risen nearly £40,000 in the past two years, compared with a rise of around £9,000 in the two years prior.
For homeowners who have been considering selling their property, now is a great time to bite the bullet. Spring is traditionally the best time to list, with the most active buyers on the market, and with COVID-19 restrictions now lifted and house prices expected to cool off over the next few months, it could be the last opportunity to take advantage of increased asking prices.
Nationwide reports record cash rise
The UK’s biggest building society, and one of its biggest lenders, has reported a record rise in the cost of a UK home.
According to figures released by Nationwide, the cost of a typical home rose by £29,162 in the past year – the biggest cash increase in property prices since they started collecting comparable data in 1991.
This means the average asking price across the UK reached £260,230 in February, with the increased cost of living appearing to have little effect on house prices.
The findings are bad news for first-time buyers struggling to get onto the property ladder, although with many property experts forecasting a slowdown in house prices in the coming months, there may be some respite for those looking to take their first steps.
Buy-to-let mortgages becoming more appealing for investors
Research from Mortgage Broker Tools has shown that affordability for buy-to-let mortgages is at its highest point since they started collecting data.
According to their figures, average maximum loan sizes have increased by 13% in the past year, with the average currently being a little over £421,000, which represents a £20,000 increase in the past two months.
And in further good news for potential landlords, figures released by Moneyfacts show that there are currently 2,235 mortgage products available to first-time investors – a considerable increase on the 1,311 products available at the same point 12 months ago.
Government launches Homes for Ukraine scheme
In response to the war in Ukraine, the UK government has launched the Homes for Ukraine scheme, which asks people who can, to offer a room to refugees fleeing the conflict.
You’ll need to confirm that your home is available for at least six months, and you’ll be entitled to a monthly payment of £350 for up to 12 months, although you won’t be expected to cover the cost of food and living expenses.
To register your interest in the scheme, just visit the government website.
Interest rates rise again
The Bank of England has increased interest rates for the third time in four months to try and lessen the effects of the continued cost of living increases.
The rise will directly impact around two million homeowners who have either a variable or a tracker mortgage, as they’ll see their monthly repayments increase again.
For homeowners with a £200,000 mortgage, this will mean around a £42 increase to their monthly repayments.
Homes for under £10k
While asking prices may have hit record highs and youngsters feel increasingly uncertain they’ll be able to get onto the property ladder, it’s certainly not all doom and gloom for would-be buyers.
A recent post by major property portal Zoopla has revealed a list of 14 properties for sale for £10,000 or less.
While some will need extensive work doing to them, and some will fetch higher at auction, it does show that there are still bargains to be had despite the significant increases in prices over the past couple of years!