London House Buyers Market

Is residential property now a buyer’s market?

Thursday 12 April, 2018

Thomas Oliver’s Hertfordshire Mortgage Broker and protection specialist, Richard Rushworth, reviews why he believes the residential property market especially in London and the south east is a buyer’s market.

Richard Rushworth, Mortgage Broker in Brentwood & Hertford & Cheshunt, Hertfordshire said:

‘I believe there has been a change in the housing market over the last six months which you may be aware of.  According to the Guardian’s Philip Inman some properties have experienced a 10% price cut. For most average consumers these figures will mean very little as they relate to the massive price falls in central London property worth in excess of several million pounds, which distort the national average. This is compounded by the fact that that properties selling for less than £500,000 still tend to be sold within two weeks as long as they are reasonably priced. One fact to remember in relation to the figures is that estate agents are still getting used to not overvaluing properties. If you go back twelve to eighteen months an estate agent would often value an average £300,000 property just outside north London for example in Cheshunt at 5-10% above what it was worth. This was due to the amount of interest you would receive and the possibility of the property being worth at least £20,000 more at completion as properties were selling over the asking price. Today there is often less interest due to tax changes, Brexit, and more restrictions on buy-to-let purchases. Therefore agents who still overvalue properties may be prepared to sell the property under the asking price, giving the perception the property market has fallen significantly when actually it has stabilised. ‘ 

Richard Rushworth, Mortgage Broker and protection specialist in Brentwood & Hertford & Cheshunt, Hertfordshire continued:

‘In my opinion now may actually prove to be a good time to buy as you are looking at reasonable property prices, and especially if you are a first time buyer. In my view the market has swung from a sellers’ market to a buyers’ market so we as consumers hold more power. Therefore we don’t always have to give into estate agents excessive demands as before. The reason first time buyers have such power is because in most cases they will also receive a nil rate stamp duty tax band for the first £300,000 when they are purchasing a home for £500,000 or less. This is reinforced given better value for money properties available due to market conditions, making it a good time to consider purchasing a property as a first time buyer. However, it is important to remember that property prices could continue to stabilise further or drop slightly over the short-term but I believe that over the long-term property growth is a good investment in and around London. Remember that as a first time buyer and for any homeowner, it is not just about the cost of a home, the mortgage or bills related to it, it is more about finding somewhere to live for your family and creating a happy home. Therefore I believe there is no better time to do this due to reduced competition from other buyers, and the availability of reasonably valued property. If you are considering purchasing a property and you would like mortgage and protection advice please call one of the Thomas Oliver mortgage advisers on 01707 872000.’  

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