Is market confidence growing for house sales/purchases?

As the recession becomes a not-too-distant memory for most, it is apparent that confidence in the housing market has certainly improved.

As the recession becomes a not-too-distant memory for most, it is apparent that confidence in the housing market has certainly improved. Building has begun again, more and more 'for sale' signs are going up, and an increasing number of sale/purchase transactions are being completed every week. This all suggests that market confidence is growing.

But in light of the potential implications and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, will the market still be as strong in 2018?

It would seem there is no reason to believe that things will not continue to improve. Although many people were initially cautious following the Brexit announcement, there are a substantial number of incentives in place, enticing people in to purchasing their own property.

Certainly, the Help to Buy ISA is helping many on to the property ladder for the first time, as the government incentivises those new to the market to save a deposit for their house purchase by offering a bonus on savings over a certain level.

In addition, the announcement of the first-time buyer stamp duty holiday last year has turned what may once have been a dream of buying their own property into a reality for first-time buyers, with predictions that abolishing stamp duty for first time buyers will save four out of five buyers up to £5,000.

New home-building has increased, with 20% more properties being offered to the market in 2016 – 2017 than in the previous year, meaning it is essentially a buyer's market, and this can be used to the advantage of some in price negotiations.

Finally, low interest rates are encouraging more and more people to buy their first home or their next home. Whilst an interest-rate hike in late spring is expected, no further increases are expected in the coming year, meaning mortgage rates (and in turn, properties), are more affordable.

Taking all of the above into consideration, it would seem now is the ideal time to purchase a property, in particular for first time buyers who are looking to take advantages of the various incentives on offer. On that basis, it is hoped that market confidence will grow and the property market will continue to flourish.

Melissa Cook is a solicitor in the Residential Conveyancing Team
Melissa.Cook@weightmans.com

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