THE WORD with Mark Hustwit, Senior Sales Manager Marsh & Parsons Brixton, sees buyer confidence warming up with Spring
Buyers have remained cautious since Brexit and last year’s election, and prices have stabilised as a result. Indeed, those still making a move have benefited from having more available properties to choose from, so motivated vendors adjusted prices accordingly.
As we bid farewell to the winter months, it seems buyer confidence is also warming up and people are once again focusing on their property searches. Indeed, we saw a 10 per cent increase in buyers registered in Brixton from February to March, and I expect we’ll continue to see this interest grow throughout the year.
Brixton is primarily a local market where people tend to stay and transition from renting, to put down more permanent roots and purchase their first homes. These first time buyers kept the Brixton market buoyant throughout 2017 and, in fact, some 60 per cent of buyers we matched to their new homes last year fell in to this category, with deposits often funded by the Bank of Mum and Dad. Similarly, more parents are purchasing a home for their children to rent from them, as investment yield is far higher than if the money remained in the bank, due to historically low interest rates for cash savers.
Looking ahead for the rest of 2018, first time buyers will continue to support the market and up-sizers, capitalising on previous house price growth, will sustain larger house sales. For vendors motivated to sell, my advice would be to price sensibly rather than simply opting for the highest valuation; listen to agents who are experienced, know the local market and won’t overvalue your house just to get the business. Establishing the correct price at the outset is important, as initial market impact is crucial for getting buyers through the door, especially as, on average, it takes 15 viewings to sell a property. Additionally, overpriced properties will take longer to sell and buyers can be wary of properties that have been reduced repeatedly.
For buyers, borrowing money is certainly not going to get cheaper, so now is the time to buy. Following the government announcement that interest rates will increase sooner than expected, waiting could result in higher interest rates on your mortgage. What may seem like a small increase will cost thousands over an average 25-year mortgage – a 0.25 per cent increase equates to £31,250 extra in the lifetime of the loan. If you think you’ve found your dream property, take the leap – the likelihood is that property prices are only going to go one way, up!