What’s Happening In The UK Property Market
Interest rates have increased again for the second time in quick succession, and a quiet Wiltshire town has leapt up the property hotspot list! In good news for tenants, the government has announced new reforms to protect renters. Read on for all this and more.
What can sellers entering the market in March 2022 expect?
With all COVID-19 restrictions being lifted, and spring just around the corner – which is traditionally a hot time of year for the property market – here are some of our predictions for what to expect this month…
House prices at the highest since 2007
According to the latest Halifax House Price Index, house prices in the UK grew by 0.5% in February. The fastest annual pace since 2007.
Movers and Shakers
Corsham named as a top property hotspot
The picturesque country market town of Corsham in Wiltshire has been named as the UK’s newest property hotspot.
The town might not be instantly familiar by name, but TV fans will recognise it, as it’s appeared in numerous period dramas, from Poldark to Lark Rise to Candleford and Tess of the D’Urbervilles.
And with demand for more open spaces and work from home offices remaining strong, the town on the edge of the Cotswolds is seeing a big increase in buyer activity.
Figures released by major property portal Rightmove show an increase in buyer demand of 124% compared with 12 months ago. Average prices have inevitably increased too, with a jump of 6% year on year.
The majority of buyers are Londoners seeking more bang for their buck, and with average prices in the town of a little under £330,000, it’s no surprise that it’s attracting many out-of-towners.
First-Time Buyer News
Affordability issues reach record highs
One of the UK’s biggest lenders, Nationwide, has announced some startling figures which affect first-time buyers’ affordability.
While it’s widely known that house price growth has outgrown wage growth, the building society has laid bare just how much price increases have outpaced wages since the pandemic began.
Their figures reveal that a 10% deposit on a first home is now equivalent to 56% of total gross annual earnings, which is a new record high.
Section 21 to be abolished
In a move that will protect renters, the Government has announced plans to abolish Section 21, which allows landlords to evict tenants without any reason.
The plans are part of the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper, which is aiming to help poorer communities become more prosperous.
Other changes that are planned include ensuring that privately rented properties meet minimum standards, and the introduction of a landlords register, with an aim to crack down on rogue landlords.
Latest news for Landlords
Almost 1/3 of tenants admit to keeping hidden pets!
A recent survey has found that 27% of tenants have admitted to hiding pets from oblivious landlords for more than three years.
The most commonly hidden pets are birds and rabbits, while somewhat surprisingly, horses are in third place! We’re not sure entirely how you hide a horse – suggestions on a postcard, please!
The number one way to avoid landlords discovering pets during an inspection was to take them out for a walk, which was followed closely by asking friends to look after them, and then asking a neighbour to keep hold of them during inspections.
The study also revealed that the most pet-friendly landlords are in Norwich, with the least friendly being in Edinburgh.
Interest rate increase for the second time in three months
The Bank of England has announced an increase in its base interest rate from 0.25% to 0.5% – the second increase in just three months.
The increase will mean a rise in monthly mortgage repayments for around two million homeowners with variable-rate mortgages and will add around £24 per month to a £200,000 mortgage.
The rise comes hot on the heels of Ofgem’s announcement that energy bills will increase by 54% this year, as millions of households face a squeeze on the cost of living.
A home with a rather unusual feature in the front garden made headlines on social media recently.
The 2-bedroom bungalow in leafy Nursling, Hampshire, has a spacious back garden with views across lush green fields, but it’s the enormous telephone pylon in the front garden that really caused it to go viral.
You can check it out here, but hurry – the property’ already sold, subject to contract.
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