We’re often asked if it’s actually possible to sell a house quickly for a good price. Our response is “yes” – with the right advice and planning, it is entirely achievable.
If you currently find yourself in such a position, remember that there are several options that you should consider first.
As well exploring your specific situation, we also strongly recommend taking a “birds eye” view of what is happening in the housing market, both at local and national levels. Factors such as buyers sentiment, the economy and political decision-making can all influence what your property will sell for.
We often find that understanding these “bigger picture” factors often brings extra clarity about the next steps people take. For this reason, below we have highlighted some of the key housing market trends to be aware of in 2018.
Will The Value of My House Go Up or Down?
It is never easy to accurately predict price movements, especially as every property has its own characteristics. People often find that neighbouring properties are priced differently to their own. For example, it is fair to ask for a higher asking price there is a larger garden or extension. Other factors such as closeness to schools, shops, transport, healthcare and other amenities also come into play.
Even in the broader sense, property prices in the UK cannot be looked at through one lens. In some parts of the country, for instance, prices have still not fully recovered from the effects of the credit crunch (see one of our previous Tweets for some interesting statistics).
However, as seen in the graph below, peaks and troughs are fairly normal and, over the long-term, property prices always increase.
Generally speaking, most commentators agree that price growth across the country will be slow in 2018. There may even be some drops in certain areas, but little likelihood of anything like the crash witnessed in 2007/08.
The main reason for this, in our view, is the amount of money needed to get on the housing ladder. Even though mortgage interest rates are low, these days homebuyers still need to put down a significant deposit. This is particularly true in London and the South East where prices have risen significantly in recent years. Then there are the costs of actually buying property (stamp duty, legal fees, surveys etc.). All these issues mean that getting on the property ladder is not easy. Many people, especially the young, find themselves pushed out of the market.
Be Realistic About the Value of Your Property
Our advice moving forward is to make sure your asking price is realistic. All too often we see estate agents over-pricing property and raising sellers expectations. This often means people looking to sell their house fast are left disappointed. We often find that a slight adjustment can work wonders in getting more interested buyers through the door and securing a sale. Please see our previous post on understanding the “real” or “sold” value of your property for more information on this topic.
Will Brexit Affect The Price of My House?
In 2018 there should be more clarity as to how the UK will leave the European Union. However, many questions remain regarding the implementation period, withdrawal agreement terms and a number of inter-related issues regarding our future trade relationship. It is therefore likely that a degree of economic and political uncertainty will remain.
For the property market, it is too early to tell whether Brexit will increase the risks of a downturn. Over the next year, it is worth paying attention to the value of the Pound (£). Should it continue to weaken and fuel rising inflation, the Bank of England may raise interest rates. As a result, not only will house prices probably fall but also those on variable or tracker mortgage rates will face higher monthly outgoings.
However, we generally feel that there should not too much to worry about in 2018. There is still a major undersupply of housing – a fact that will remain regardless of how and on what terms we leave the EU.
Given the concern that many people have regarding the effects of Brexit, you may find it more difficult to sell your house quickly if you are not willing to negotiate. If you decide to hold, however, remember to regularly check your mortgage terms and make sure you are well prepared should things change in the market. Please see our previous post on keeping up with your mortgage payments here.
What About the Government’s Housebuilding Plans?
The government has set a target of building 300,000 new homes a year by 2020, supported by a commitment to raise the level of skills, resources and land-supply over the next 5 years. Initiatives such as Home Building Fund and the Housing Infrastructure Fund are two examples of this work. Added to this, improving the planning system and increasing compulsory order powers are also under consultation.
Should such plans turn into reality, increased supply across the marketplace could influence house prices. However, it is worth bearing the following in mind:
- The last time housing was delivered to the market at this pace was in the 1950’s and 60’s. Back then, land was not sold competitively and the market was less profit-orientated;
- Land and development opportunities are increasingly difficult to find, especially in London and the South East. This means that the actual delivery of homes takes a long time;
- Developers often face objection from local communities who feel that new homes will worsen their standards of living. This often slows progess;
- Building homes is not cheap. With rising labour and material costs, even the larger developers are making sacrifices on the levels of margins they achieve. This often means that small and medium size property developers struggle to get a foothold without taking significant risks. It is interesting, however, to see the widening role of modular and pre-fabricated housebuilding methodologies embraced by major players such as Berkeley Homes and Legal & General.
Is Buy-to-Let Worth it in 2018?
The onslaught of top-down controls affecting UK landlords looks set to radically change the rental property industry. Together with the risk of rising interest rates, some of the notable challenges are: Section 24 of the Finance Act 2015, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) stress-testing criteria and the Stamp Duty for second homes.
Section 24 of the Finance (No. 2) Act 2015
Arguably the most punishing piece of legislation to ever impact buy-to-let, the amount of mortgage interest that landlords can deduct from their gross rental income continues to become majorly restricted. Essentially, this means that landlords are paying tax on revenue and not profit. With the new rules significantly affecting buy-to-let property owners with high levels of secured debt against their properties, those that fall into the higher tax band are strongly advised to seek professional guidance.
In a series of blog posts, we previously explored the real implications of Section 24 and some steps landlords can consider moving forward:
- Part 1 – Section 24 of the Finance (No. 2) Act 2015 (Phasing In 2017-2020);
- Part 2 – Section 24 of the Finance (No. 2) Act 2015 (Future Tax Liabilities);
- Part 3 – Section 24 of the Finance (No. 2) Act 2015 (How to Prepare Yourself);
- Part 4 – Section 24 of the Finance (No. 2) Act 2015 (Transferring Properties into a Limited Company).
Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) Stricter Underwriting Criteria
This new lending criteria will place further controls on the amount of debt a buy-to-let landlord can secure against a property. Although many see this policy in a negative light, removing the “wild west” nature of cheap and easy borrowing may actually be a good thing. We have previously blogged on this topic (click here to see the post).
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) Surcharge
This tax for new buy-to-let purchases has now filtered into the market and the number of buy-to-let investors in the marketplace has certainly slowed as a result. At the time of writing, there seems very little chance of removing this tax.
How To Sell My House Quickly For a Good Price
Going through the house sale process is stressful and frustrating – especially if you are in a rush to get things sorted.
As full-time and experienced professionals in the industry, we pride ourselves in having a detailed insight of the market. This means we can help clients achieve what they want and, in most cases, we find a suitable solution during our first phone call.
Considering the growing number of complaints against “fast house buying” companies, we are also very keen to differentiate ourselves from the others.
Anyone who contacts us will receive honest and up-front assistance before we even mention how we work as a company. For example, adjusting the asking price with the estate agent, changing your mortgage terms or seeking some kind of “payment holiday” are all simple yet effective ways to handle what may seem like a complicated situation.
For a short introduction to how we work, please click on the YouTube video below:
Please also call us anytime for a friendly, no-obligation chat. Our freephone number is 0800 044 3733 (lines are open 24 hours, 7 days a week). Alternatively, please visit our main website, leave your details in the contact box or email us at email@example.com.