This summer is proving to be the busiest for the housing market for quite some time, with regard to both sales and lets. In fact, the buy-to-let market continues to go from strength to strength and mortgages for the sector are at a 4-year high.
Add to that the rise in prices, especially in the UK capital, and the government’s Help to Buy scheme boosting new property sales and it’s probably one of the best times to be an estate agent in recent memory.
Whilst critics make noises about the new housing bubble and predict gloom, this doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon. In fact, looking at the previous “pre-crash” boom it seems that the current rise in activity in the housing market isn’t even close to the level it was back then. Whilst prices are rising, this remains at less than 5% per year, according to the Halifax and Nationwide.
Housing becomes affordable
Despite media reports predicting that it will all end in tears, at the moment the economic and housing market recovery looks strong. Repossessions are at a six year low and mortgage arrears are lower than they have been since 2008.
Does this mean that despite the slight dip in prices on everything but flats that estate agents will continue to enjoy a bumper summer? That and more, according to Rightmove director Miles Shipside, who pointed out that: “Demand is already on the up, and that’s before the roll-out of phase two of the Help to Buy stimulus.
“It is now crucial that the supply of property improves so that the goal of a significant increase in transaction numbers is not overshadowed by an unsustainable boom in property prices.
“Flats are in most demand by first-time buyers and buy-to-let investors, and we have seen prices for this property type hit their highest-ever level as supply fails to keep up with an increase in demand at the bottom of the market.”
This means that estate agents will continue to have their work cut out for the foreseeable future and not just the summer months. Whilst transactions may fall in the Christmas and New Year period, January brings the second phase of Help to Buy and this is likely to further boost the market in the new year.