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The property market has defied the odds of crashing despite the soaring cost of living, and the increased disparity between prices and affordability. While many Britons have been “cashing in” on inflated house prices while selling, others have been unfairly priced out of the market by cash buyers, and bidders with large deposits. A decline in record prices may be welcome news for some, but is it still a good time to buy or sell a property in the UK? Express.co.uk spoke to Jonathon Rolande, property expert and professional property buyer, to find out exactly why he thinks now is still full of opportunities for those looking to move house, and how to speed up the sale of your home.
Even since the onset of the pandemic, the housing market has proven resilient and even continued to thrive, despite increasing economic uncertainty.
According to the latest Halifax House Price Index, the average UK house price has now reached a record high of £294,260,
Jonathan Rolande of House Buy Fast said: “Despite price increases slowing, it’s still very much a tale of two property markets.
“On the one hand, there are those who already own property and are moving or adding to their rental portfolios.
“On the other hand, there are those who, despite slightly suppressed prices, are finding it hard to obtain a mortgage, deposit or both.”
How to speed up your property sale as house prices slow down – still ‘great time to sell’
eman is expected to remain high in the lead up to Christmas
He added that while the cost of living crisis is also bringing this disparity in to even sharper focus, the Prime Minister’s recent announcement of a two-year energy price cap has “sparked hope” for those hoping to move house.
On September 8, 2022, Liz Truss announced that a typical household in Britain will pay no more than £2,500 a year for energy bills until October 2024 under a new Government guarantee.
Jonathon noted that this announcement, coupled with continually high demand for property, is enough to keep the market afloat.
He added that this is especially true for the current period, which typically sees more people rushing to move after summer, but before Christmas.
Higher mortgage interest rates and cautious lenders could still impact buyers
Jonathan said: “The impact of higher increases jeopardised so many facets of the economy it was almost impossible to over-exaggerate the terrible consequences there might have been – bankruptcies, unemployment, increased inflation, a house price crash – all were very possible.
“Bills and inflation still look set to rise. Interest rates may well do so too. But the cliff-edge has, for now, been avoided.
“Businesses and homeowners now have certainty about their budgets and can plan accordingly.”
While this reassurance is positive for people who are still eager to move, strong demand for property services is making completion times a little longer and could worsen as Christmas draws closer.
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The energy cap price fix has been praised by property experts
How to speed up your house sale
To get things done quickly before further rises in inflation and interest rates occur, Jonathan urged Britons to do whatever they can to get ahead of the game.
He explained that “preparation is everything” to speed up the moving process, and it can begin before even securing a buyer or finding a new home.
Jonathon said: “Buyers and sellers should both have solicitors ready in advance so that things like ID checks and payments on account could be made in plenty of time to avoid delays later.
“Sellers can also prepare property information forms find guarantees for a new boiler or loft insulation, which often take a little while to locate.
“Of course buyers should have the mortgage in place and have proof of funds to show estate agents, solicitors, and even the seller of the property that they’re serious and genuine.”
Booking surveys quickly and keeping your sale chain-free are also great ways to reduce completion time.
When it comes to finalising a buyer, paying attention to the presentation of your home is also crucial.
Smart decor and a tidy space are both essential, though Jonathon also noted the importance of lighting.
He explained that in the dark, cold months, securing a buyer can be trickier due to the gloomy lighting.
However, lots of lamps and outdoor lighting are a great way to overcome this obstacle and really sell your home.
Jonathan added: “Paying attention to energy efficiency and your EPC rating is also a good idea in the current climate.
“Using smart meters, up-to-date appliances, and making sure to share your views on how cheap or efficient your home is to run is guaranteed to encourage buyers.”