HOMEOWNERS PUT OFF MOVING DUE TO STRESS

home comfort white dog

If you find yourself recoiling at the prospect of selling up and finding a new property, you’re not alone. Quite apart from Brexit uncertainty and the housing market slowdown, it seems that many homeowners are putting off moving because it’s simply too stressful. Concerns about moving to a new location, having noisy neighbours and high estate agency fees, among others, explain why 60% of homeowners in a recent study1 are reluctant to start looking.

Some respondents even said that moving home was more stressful than getting divorced (34%), having a baby (31%) or starting a new job (27%). It could be worth the pain, however; 62% of those surveyed said they believed that moving could make them happier. Taking action to minimise your stress, then, rather than avoiding it altogether, could make for a smoother transition and a brighter future.

FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN

Not knowing much about the location you are moving to is likely to increase your anxiety, so the best thing you can do is conduct some research. Find out about the schools, healthcare and amenities available in the area, talk to current residents, and see what noise and traffic levels are like at different points in the day/week. Arming yourself with more knowledge should help to alleviate your fears and improve your outlook.

FRETTING OVER THE FINANCES

For many, the prospect of finding a new mortgage is their biggest worry when considering a move. Seeking our advice as early as possible will give you more time to explore the available options and decide what’s best for you, whether this be transferring your existing mortgage, increasing the size of your loan or finding a new provider.

Remember, change can be positive – so if you’re thinking about moving, now could be the time.

1Yopa, 2019

As a mortgage is secured against your home or property, it could be repossessed if you do not keep up mortgage repayments.

RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY REVIEW – October 2019

Our monthly residential market review is intended to provide background to recent developments in property markets, as well as to give an indication of how some key issues could impact in the future.

Continuing uncertainty in residential property market

The latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) UK Residential Market Survey, has reported a decline in home listings coming onto the housing market, with the net balance for new instructions slipping to its weakest point for more than three years at -37%.

This follows the more stable trend seen over the last three months, as ongoing political and economic uncertainty continues to dissuade vendors. As a result, estate agents’ books remain at near record low levels.

The near-term outlook suggests that sales will remain subdued over the next three months and price expectations will see a modest decline UK-wide over this period. However, sales volumes are expected to stabilise over 12 months and more respondents to the survey expect prices to rise, rather than fall over the coming year.

A mixed picture continues to be seen across the UK, with price gains in Scotland, the North West and Northern Ireland, whereas London and the South East retains negative momentum.

UK’s best new building

In the centenary year of the introduction of mass council housing, the RIBA Stirling prize for the best new building in the UK has been awarded to Goldsmith Street in Norwich. This is the first time in the 23-year history of the prize that the award has been won by social housing.

The project has been built by Norwich City Council and comprises 100 terraced homes which are rented out on secured tenancies at fixed social rents. Goldsmith Street offers highly energy-efficient homes using a passive solar scheme where annual energy costs are expected to be 70% cheaper than that of the average household.

Chair of the 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize judges, Julia Barfield said: “This is proper social housing, over ten years in the making, delivered by an ambitious and thoughtful council. These desirable, spacious, low-energy properties should be the norm for all council housing.

Shock interest rate hike on Treasury loans

Councils have reacted with frustration after an unexpected rise in interest rates from 1.81% to 2.82% on new borrowing from the Treasury’s Public Works Loan Board (PWLB). There are fears the rate hike, announced on 9 October, could delay or put a halt to regeneration plans and housebuilding schemes.

PWLB loans totalled nearly £8bn in 2018-19, which represents a 77% year-on-year rise in new borrowing. Many councils used the low-interest loans to invest in regeneration and housing projects and there are fears that housebuilding schemes will cease to be affordable and may have to be cancelled as a result.

Sharon Taylor, District Councils Network spokesperson and leader of Stevenage Borough Council commented: “It is extremely disappointing that the government is to increase Public Works Loan Board rates, at a time when councils’ finances are already under huge pressures. It’s another big blow for local government finance. The need nationally is for good quality, affordable housing. My view is only councils can deliver that. Why would you want to slow that down in the middle of a housing crisis?

House Price Headline Stats – October 2019
House Price Change by Region – October 2019
Average Monthly Price by Property Type – Ocober 2019
Mortgage Activity – October 2019