Are you ready to choose your new home?
As lockdown measures gradually lift across the country, there is speculation about some elements of quarantine that are likely to remain, namely remote working. But what impact has the pandemic had on the housing market?
UK house prices are soaring. Official figures show they have been increasing at their fastest rate for more than a decade, despite the country being gripped by a pandemic. While property values are about 10% higher than a year ago, the biggest price rises have actually been outside of London and the South East of England, which is different from previous booms.
This is partly due to the higher demand for family homes, as many people have reassessed their priorities during the lockdowns. Buyers want bigger homes with room to live and work, as well as a garden and easily accessible coasts or countryside, as they’re no longer constrained by commuting times or travel costs, turning their focus instead to extra space that will enable sustainable working from home.
“Interestingly, and despite rising house prices, we’ve also seen that people are aiming to spend less on their house purchases post-pandemic, with the average house price people are saving for down almost 30% – from just over £300k pre-pandemic, to £215k post-pandemic.
“With rising housing costs, and theoretically more disposable income (fewer travel costs, first-time buyers moving back in with parents, spending less on nights out) how can first-time buyers maximise their potential savings? Here are a few tips.”
Start small, stay consistent
“Whether you’re a natural spender or saver, it helps to cultivate your savings habit – in a sensible, sustainable way. It’s better to start small and stay consistent, with regular monthly payments into your savings account than to overreach by starting with a bigger payment and then falling off and feeling discouraged when you can’t keep that level up.”
Put it on auto-pilot
“Research has shown that making the process automatic – ie, funds that come out of your account on payday that are specifically set aside for savings – has a higher success rate for people trying to achieve their goals.”
Regular budget reviews
“Reviews of your budget are also a great way of addressing areas where you could save even more, as it allows you to identify expenditure that’s not necessarily necessary.”
Increase your financial literacy
“Do you know your LISAs from your ISAs? Are you familiar with interest rates, inflation, stamp duty, and help to buy schemes? It’s integral that you’re aware of the financial features that come with owning a home.
“One of the major consequences of Covid has been a greater reliance on technology and a bigger push for innovation. More education is needed to help buyers make informed decisions on the biggest purchase of their lives so far.
“With greater financial literacy, barriers can be broken down and playing fields can be levelled when it comes to property ownership. With traditional financial advisors often coming at a significant cost, there’s a great opportunity for digital innovators to step in and help make home ownership a realistic and achievable goal for the next generation of first-time buyers.”
Thinking about moving? Think Target on 08006696233 – www.tpsne.co.uk