If you’re in search for more space, then you aren’t alone. Since the pandemic which began last March and the subsequent lockdowns, interest in houses has more than doubled. In fact, the number of people looking to purchase a family home has soared by 114% compared with levels typically seen at this time of year between 2017 and 2019. The number of those looking to buy a flat has risen by 34%.
Even though buyer demand for all properties has eased slightly, it remains 80% higher compared with typical levels for this time of year. According the House Price Index from Zoopla, house price growth for all property types is expected to hit 6% in the coming months.
The average cost of houses has jumped over 7% over the last twelve months compared to 1.4% for flats and this is seen across all regions in the UK.
There has been a large increase in demand for both terraced and detached houses according to the latest House Price Index report from Zoopla.
This rise in demand for houses is a result of the stamp duty holiday with bigger savings seen with larger properties. This, coupled with the increased demand for more space as people spent the best part of a year working and schooling children from home, caused this property boom for houses.
The trend for home working has meant that many people wanted to move out of city centres and urban areas for a more rural setting, where houses tend to present better value for money, with a greater availability of spacious homes with gardens and access to green space.
If you are a first-time-buyer purchasing a flat rather than a house, you should still be able to purchase an affordable home as the cost of flats has risen much more slowly than houses over the past year. However, there is some variation across the regions as flats in Scotland have risen by 5.4% compared to just 0.5% in London.
If you have your heart set on a house, you could face stiff competition but with no property to sell you are in a stronger position to proceed with a sale than a purchaser with a property to sell or in a property chain.
First-time-buyers (and second steppers) can also take advantage of the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme whereby buyers can apply for a new mortgage from April 2021 to December 2022. It provides a guarantee for lenders to offer mortgages up to 95% loan to value (LTV). So you could still buy a new home even if you only have a 5% deposit.
If you are a home mover and have a house to sell, you could find that you will sell your home very quickly in today’s market. The current demand is outweighing supply and competition for homes is high resulting in closing dates and a high percentage of offers over.