As the year draws to a close and the nation begins to wind down on the run up to Christmas, there are still several developments emerging throughout the property industry – and we’ve been keeping a very close eye on them.
Here are some of the headlines that caught our attention throughout December…
A pent up demand for property
A surging demand triggered by the pandemic has led to the busiest housing market in over a decade, with buyer demand running 28% above the five-year average as one property in every 16 is set to change hands.
But with the number of homes on the market down 42% compared with the five-year average, this demand has not been met by an increase in availability. This means that co-ordinating your next sale with a purchase could be tricky, though the market should see a spike in listings in the New Year as households tend to use the festive period to make decisions about moving.
A rise in ‘delayed homeownership’
According to new research by the Equity Release Council – which highlights the nation’s changing relationship with bricks and mortar – almost half (45%) of homeowners under the age of 40 bought their first home later than expected.
This rise in ‘delayed homeownership’ means that having a mortgage later in life is becoming the ‘new normal’ – and first home budgets are on the higher end of the scale as prospective buyers have had longer to save for the big move.
Help to Buy sales plummet
Following the introduction of a new programme with tighter eligibility criteria – restricting non first-time buyers and initiating regional price caps – the Help to Buy equity loan scheme has now been deemed effectively ‘unviable’ in many parts of the country by the Home Builders Federation (HBF).
Official data released early this month showed a 29% drop quarter-on-quarter in purchases through the Help to Buy scheme for the three months preceding June this year, and a decrease of 27% for the comparable period in 2019.
And, as the Help to Buy scheme is due to end in 2023 many potential first-time buyers will be looking for alternative ways to gain support and make the first step onto the housing ladder.