Market Recovery

A recent report by the National Association of Estate Agents has reported that the number of potential sellers rose in March to reach its highest level for six months. This news comes on the back of another report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors which reported that the number of people trying to sell their homes last month had reached its highest level since May 2007.


These figures suggest that Britain’s housing market is continuing on the long road to recovery. Very little buying or selling of houses was done during the recession and the fact that so many people are looking to sell suggests that confidence is returning.


A major reason for this is that the stamp duty change of rate is now well behind us, so those that rushed deals through in 2009 to get under the old stamp duty regulations are no longer reflected in depressed figures. Another reason, much more simply, is that the UK has been enjoying a spell of good weather which always encourages the housing market.


Of course, simply having a lot of people looking to sell their homes does not necessarily mean the market is in good condition, after all, if sellers outweigh those who are wishing to buy house prices will probably drop. The good news it that the number of prospective buyers went up by 7% last month, though they are still outnumbered by people looking to sell.


Another sign of a recovering market comes from the Council of Mortgage Lenders who revealed that mortgage approvals for February was 12% higher than the previous month with 35,000 home loans being approved.


One of the major reasons for people looking to sell at the moment is that the average amount of equity that people hold in their own homes has increased significantly in recent months. Extremely good mortgage rates from a number of banks, including Santander who are offering the lowest rates in a decade (visit the Santander website for further information on their mortgages including current rates), has meant that people have managed to pay off more of their mortgages than ever before. This means that people are choosing to cash in on their equity now.


If you’re looking to move house, now may not be the best time to sell, the market is still picking up and it’s only when buyers outnumber sellers that prices will really rise. For the moment, mortgage rates remain low and the Bank of England base rate looks set to stay low for a long while yet, so it may be worth sitting tight for a little longer and continuing to pay off your mortgage as quickly as you can.

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