Teresa Brewer FNAEA MARLA
Finlay Brewer Brook Green

Mortgage price war ahead....?

I usually think of this time of year as ‘Bank Holiday Time’. We don’t have that many of them, not compared to the Americans and some Europeans, but for some unknown reason most of ours happen within a 6 week period, starting at Easter.

As a result of all these mini-breaks, the housing market is a little flat.  There are few real buyers around so it is essential to catch them while you can.  There is quite a choice of property available but whether the guide prices are realistic, is the question.  Pricing correctly for a sale is the name of the game.  With record low interest rates, mortgages have never been so affordable or so achievable. Recent studies have shown that the number of people being refused a mortgage has dropped by almost half over the past year. That ubiquitous ‘first time buyer’ has rarely had it so good. Likewise, the self-employed are finding their access to mortgage finance is better than it’s been since the onset of the credit crunch in 2008.

With a mortgage price war reportedly looming, rates should get even lower, providing some additional momentum for the market. This means that it could be a good time to put your property up for sale and to buy a new one. With inflation slowly ticking-up, there is no telling when the Bank of England could decide to raise interest rates. I don’t think we’re looking at major increases, but once that change of direction has been made, there will likely be more to come.

West London rental levels have also fallen back in 2017.  Central London data compiled by LonRes (Lettings Index) has measured a 3.8% fall in prices in Q1 2017.  Some Landlords have had to make more significant reductions to find a tenant, local conditions vary so please call our Lettings Team for up to date advice on this, like sales the asking price is key. The good news is that there are more tenants around now than before Easter so we are looking forward to a busy early summer.

If you are considering putting your house or flat on the market this spring, give us a call and we can give you a realistic valuation. If you really are motivated to move, you need to be sure your asking price is correct.  Always check what comparable houses have sold for - not what they’re listed at - but what they have actually sold for within the last 6 months.