It’s too early to tell if we are seeing a prolonged recovery in the UK housing market, but there are some signs that confidence is starting to return. After a disappointing 2012 where house values remained at a stubborn low and activity was very muted by historic standards, we have just seen a rise in values for January 2013 of 0.5% according to the Nationwide. Estate Agents have also been reporting steady and sustainable rises in activity from both sellers and buyers.
We have also seen recent falls in UK mortgage rates, which can be explained by the governments Funding for Lending Scheme and early signs that confidence is finally starting to return. There are also signs that there is a pick up in lending activity with mortgage company’s starting to show a little bit more of an appetite to lend and the release of new schemes designed to help First Time Buyers who are starting to look more actively at what is available to them. And of course as recently reported more help is now available for those who may have had credit problems and in recent years found it difficult to get a mortgage.
The mortgage industry and the regulator, the Financial Services Authority have produced the Mortgage Market Review, with two key aims to provide a market that is sustainable for all participants and a flexible market that works better for the consumer. This will be implemented in April 2014, but lenders and the industry as a whole are already following the prescribed guidelines. The result of this shake up and sensible regulation provides a clearer and safer environment for the consumer making property ownership safer and less susceptible to boom and bust.
Of course any recovery will depend on other factors that are beyond the mortgage industry’s control, on whether the wider economic environment improves and what may happen in other parts of the world.
But ask yourself this question, is now the right time to buy? Many would be purchasers have been sitting and waiting for property values to bottom out before making that move to purchase again or for the first time. The trouble is, it is far too easy to miss that optimum time to buy and miss out on the many bargains that remain available and then find themselves bidding in a recovering property market and rising interest rates. So I am suggesting now is a very good time to buy, to take advantage of the record low interest rates and the many schemes currently available to the First Time Buyer and the onward purchaser.
Finally, now that Christmas is over leaving many with debts and the bills starting to arrive. This is also a good time to re-mortgage to consolidate those debts into one, more affordable mortgage payment. Do take advantage of the current historically low interest rates, which we may never see the likes of again.
So, call us at any time on 01392 216 344 to discuss your options with one of our fully qualified and experienced advisers.