Given the recent economic and political turmoil we are frequently asked “How is the housing market doing?”
It’s early days but so far so good and, although we are unlikely to continue to see double digit premiums over valuation, so far it’s been a case of Keep Calm and Carry On.
If you are planning to buy:
There is no doubt that inflation and the basics of housing economics will see a squeeze on budgets and affordability. Fortunately, there are still plenty of mortgage products out there and historically speaking interest rates are low. Having said that buyers should be wary about over committing and exposure to future rate rises.
Stamp Duty rates remain the same.
In addition to the cost of the property itself, for those in the stamp duty bracket ( Scottish rates start at £145,000 or £175,00 for first time buyers) you need to budget for stamp duty known as LBTT. The recent stamp duty cut that was heralded in the mini budget only affects England and Northern Ireland and it is unlikely that the Scottish Government will follow their lead. Despite costs and interest rates relatively speaking housing is still more affordable in the Borders and the market here remains buoyant.
From the sellers’ perspective:
There are still plenty of buyers around, particularly cash buyers relocating to live in The Borders and local sellers who are looking to downsize. Despite increased numbers of properties coming on market, the demand is still outstripping supply and there is no reason to think that the situation is going to change in the medium term. We expect that prices may stabilise closer to the home report valuation than has been the recent trend . However, for those who plan to sell and buy, any fall back in selling prices will be offset by savings to be made on the purchase side.
Quality marketing is particularly essential for selling property at this time
Hastings Legal gives the best of both worlds with professional estate agency and personal service. 2022 has seen more sales agreed in a quicker time frame but to make the most of your sale you need good presentation, marketing and a sales team that knows the local market. We are dedicated to providing a premium service to both sellers and buyers. We offer a unique angle on property marketing using You Tube with a preview available to over 700 subscribers to our Hastings Legal Channel. This gives an initial boost to marketing as the virtual viewing is available even before being listed on the Property Portals. Location is key and in addition to a walk through video we include drone footage of the property and location- an essential for buyers who are not from this area.
Do you need to sell to buy?
If you have not already put your home up for sale you will not be a ‘preferred buyer’ and you could miss out on your desired new home. Understandably sellers are wary about accepting an offer dependant on sale as they are at risk if the sale drags on. If they put a halt to viewings they risk their own prospects should the offer fall through weeks or even months later. Many sellers are increasingly opting to go a closing date but don’t let that put you off. As the saying goes; a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, and a reasonable ‘clean’ offer may be sufficiently tempting for the seller to accept. Everyone’s situation is unique and this is why you need the market knowledge and experience of your local property experts. With hundreds of successful sales agreed so far this year we are well placed to guide you through the property maze.
Finally, a cautionary note for those sitting on their hands and waiting to pick up a bargain.
I’m afraid this is most unlikely and all in all there are plenty of good reasons to invest in the market now before a renewed surge of buyers realise their ambitions to move to The Borders as an ideal place to live.
© Ron Hastings October 2022
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