Is Property Back?

We’ve all seen the figures and read the endless reports about the property market coming back to life. But what we really want to know is; is it true and will it last?

Since the housing crash in 2008 confidence in the property market diminished and its affects left many hesitant to buy and sell. Recently optimistic reports have been released showing growth within the market and pointing towards a brighter future for property. Between August and November 2013 an average of 75,114 sales were recorded each month, the average for the sales for the same months in 2012 were 60,272 per month. (Figures from House Price Index-February 2014). In January of this year the volume of sales is 30% higher than in January 2013 (Source: HMRC, seasonally-adjusted figures)

The outlook for this year looks like it’s picked up where it left off in 2013, continuing on its growth. According to the Land Registry House Price Index, so far this year, we have seen a 4.2% rise in the average property price (£168,356). It comes as no surprise that London leads the way however none of the regions across UK have seen an annual price fall.

So what makes this year so special?

One of the factors is the recent introduction of the government help to buy scheme which paved the way for first time buyers, bringing around 6,000 offers on homes and mortgage applications since its launch in October 2013. This year, first time buyers are continuing to make the most of this government scheme and more of the major lenders have jumped onto the bandwagon offering the 95% mortgage which has recently been joined by Santander and Barclays. This is a great way of expanding the market out to those who would have been normally been filtered out by the demanding deposits.

Confidence! For both buyers and sellers, the confidence is being restored. For first time buyers, the dream of owning their own property is now attainable and investors are starting to put their cash into property, looking for better returns than what they would achieve with their funds lying dormant in the bank. Property offers investors a steady return on cash and suits many as an alternative means of income. Profits of house builders are a strong indication that the Help to Buy scheme is working and the government is continuing to encourage house builders to supply new homes to meet the growing demand. Many investors and cash buyers are snapping up these opportunities as the buoyant rental market continues to appeal for its consistency and as a long term investment strategy.

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