There’s no denying that the property market in the whole of the UK, and especially in London and the south east, has undergone some turbulent times in recent years. The financial crisis of 2008 caused prices to fall quickly, and in many areas of the UK prices have still not recovered. Buyers are struggling to get mortgages as lenders tighten up their criteria for lending, and first time buyers have to have a massive deposit before even being considered for a mortgage. Gone are the days of 100% mortgages and this is having a dramatic effect on house sales. Many people who would in the past have been in the market for buying a new house are either staying put or improving their current property with an extension or other home improvements to make the additional space they require.
70% of property unsold in current property market
A recent investigation by the well-known property search engine RightMove has found that 70% of properties which have been put on the market since the beginning of 2011 are still not sold. Although the situation in London and the south east may not be as severe as in other parts of the country, there are a still a large number of sellers who are finding that their property is very slow to sell. Buyers have lost confidence in the market in general and many are preferring to stay where they are, or stay in rented accommodation until they see things beginning to pick up and prices start to rise again. Chains are falling apart as a series of buyers and sellers find themselves in the position of not being able to move into the property they had set their hearts on.
The other finding in the RightMove study was that it is the middle of the market properties which are selling most quickly. Property which is competitively priced will always find a buyer, whether it’s a buyer looking to move into the area, or a buy to let investor. Not everyone is in the situation whereby they can slash the price of their property to guarantee a sale though, especially those geographical areas of the market where prices have fallen and householders are finding themselves in negative equity.
Recovery and growth
Signs are though that the economy is starting to recover from the crash with growth noted in the first quarter of this year and predictions that slow growth will continue. Kick starting the property market will help considerably with getting the housing market in particular and the economy in particular back on track and seeing “sold” signs going up around the neighbourhood will give more confidence and hope to other sellers who are either thinking about putting their properties on the market or who have been struggling to sell their property for a few months or longer.
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