According to the Halifax, the average UK property price now exceeds £270,000, with annual house price inflation at 8.1% - where else can you get that sort of return, usually tax-free?
But its’s all relative and, with the level of interest we have from sellers considering a spring sale, the chances are that there will be a more balanced relationship between supply and demand next year, which is likely to reduce house price growth to more modest levels, despite the gradual return of foreign buyers.
Building firms are now back on their feet again and are expected to plug a much-needed gap in the market, and, although the bank of England held its base rate at the record low of 0.1% this month, inflationary pressures mean this simply cannot last for much longer.
In fact, over 3.5 million first-time buyer mortgages have been issued since the base rate last dropped below 0.5% in March 2009. That’s a lot of people who could feel hot under the collar if interest rates were to rise significantly. Whilst their equity has rocketed since then, they might struggle to pay substantially higher mortgage costs, meaning that some might sell. Whether new first-time buyers could find the deposit required to bail them out is another matter.
In the meantime, as we begin to focus on Christmas and the New Year, which has now become a time of intense homebuyer portal-surfing activity, if you have any thoughts about tapping into the opportunities this market presents, well you know who to call!