There seems to be a constant trickle of positive news regarding house prices – well, positive if you own a home. The property market has been broken in the UK for some time, the reason we established Houso was to try to create some fluidity, for you, as owners to get some exposure for your home before you need to sell. To try to break the hamster wheel of listing with an agent, not finding the right home, or finding the right home and not finding a buyer.
I personally believe that the housing market has been influenced by the introduction of the Help to Buy Scheme, it is brilliant that first time buyers have some very needed help, however in limiting it to new build homes only it restricts the supply of buyers to those of us looking to trade up the ladder. Previously pre-H2B, first time buyers would have been more equally spread across new build developments, and also second hand properties. By removing this bottom rung of the ladder, it restricts the pool of buyers to those already on the ladder.
In supporting first time buyers, the government has by proxy taken an enormous stake in the British Housing market, and if the prices fall then their equity steak is reduced. This was not the case in the 2008 financial crash. Having traded through that it was also caused by a wholly different set of circumstances, but with a financial backer like the British Government are they really going to want to see even 10% knocked off their billions of pounds of investment?
To be frank, the market does not need price rises, the market needs volume, it has done for years, and due to the pent up demand and the reduction in Stamp Duty it has created some fluidity. It has got the second steppers moving, which is generating knock on revenue throughout the economy. We have all been saying for a long time, reduce this taxation – but under normal circumstances the Government would have resisted this because it would have caused an artificial increase in house prices.
At the end of the day, no one knows what will happen, many commentators thought it would collapse straight out the gates, but that seems to have not happened. Our position has been this: move for the right reasons, buy a property that will improve your families well being now, and in the future.
For the first time in over 100 houses we have sold with our property development company, we had our first withdrawal a couple of weeks ago, having had the property removed from the market for the buyers for 12 weeks, it has taken me the past 2 weeks to calm down so I didn’t rant too much. On the day of exchange the buyers withdrew via their Solicitor, with no explanation, we are a very open and honest company and our word is true from the moment we give it. To behave in this manner is one of the most deplorable part of cowardice I have ever seen, for us as a development company it is a matter of cash flow, and fortunately for us not a huge problem, but for the others involved in the chain it is disgusting. I am sure that this particular couple think they are being clever by selling and renting, but with a 15k stamp saving and dead money in rent you have to question where the logic sits, especially as this is a large 4 bedroom brand new family home on .3 of an acre…
Anyway, thinking about it makes me cross again, so I will “Woosa”, and move on. But do remember this, if you’re not going to do what you say you are going to do, say it as early in the process as you can, people respond OK to honesty, but you owe them the courtesy to allow them as much time to move on with their sale too.
Also Karma is a beauty, and we can sleep well at night knowing we have done right by them, despite being offered 5 times to sell to others, we stood to our word.
Yes the market might drop, but also it might not make an informed decision, and do it for the right reasons, and hopefully your choice will see you right in the end.