2013 saw considerable growth in the UK property market with house prices rising by 8.4% over the course of the year*. There was a rise in all regions of the UK but the main driver was London where the growth was 14.9% and the National Housing Federation (NHF) has forecast a 35% rise over the next 7 years. This has actually been the highest annual growth since 2007 and the predications are that this increase will continue at a steady pace in 2014. This is great news if you are thinking of selling your property online with I Am The Agent in the coming months.
The annual rise means that the average home is now valued at £175,826 and the number of people bidding and competing for it is nearly in double figures and this rises to 14 if the property is in London. Halifax, currently Britain's biggest mortgage lender, attributed this to both low interest rates and the Government’s Help To Buy Scheme. The Help To Buy initiative was introduced in 2013 across the UK and was designed as a way to help working people purchase their first house.
The government has made an effort to allow aspiring homeowners to gain a foothold in a very competitive market and some 6000 people have applied for a mortgage under this scheme. As we reported previously, the Help To Buy Scheme was extended on 1stJanuary 2014 and now includes all properties and not just new builds. Many lenders are now providing mortgages for this scheme as well. With just a 5% deposit you can now buy a property up to £600,000, which has been a great incentive for many people to get a foothold in the market.
A major prediction from Rightmove for 2014 is that over 1 million properties will be sold which would be the first time this has happened since the financial crisis in 2008 and demonstrates the growing confidence in the market.
For those of you who are wondering whether now is the right time to let your property online, it is. January is when changes happen and many tenants are looking to start the New Year in a new home! Although sales figures are on the up, so are lettings, some may think figures may be bad for the renting and letting market, they actually show that more people are looking for a place of their own. Not everyone can purchase their own property even with the Help To Buy scheme and this spells good news for landlords who rent and let properties.
During 2013 the number of buy-to-let mortgages increased substantially and made the year successful for both lenders and for residential property investors and this looks set to continue. Rising property values combined with less economic uncertainty, a confident stock market and low interest rates have led to something of a mini boom in the UK buy-to-let market and three quarters of professional landlords have apparently increased their portfolios over the course of the year.
Overall it was a good year for property owners, property investors, online estate agents in the UK and especially I Am The Agent who are showing year on year growth of users.
Even though prices have risen, the number of people buying has increased too which has created a flourishing market. If 2013 is anything to go by, 2014 looks like a good year for residential property and I Am The Agent is here to help you with selling or renting your property online and saving you money.
Happy New Year
The Online Property Matchmakers!
*according to Nationwide Building Society press release 3 January 2014
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