The answers to this question lie in the fundamentals that underpin the housing market, they are:
- The confidence in the job market
- The cost of homes
- The availability of homes to buy
Employment levels are at near-record highs and whilst salaries have not kept up with inflation in more recent years, the gap has been narrowing and people’s disposable incomes have been easing gently. The job stats can be distorted by the likes of zero-hour contracts and the gig economy, but overall people have confidence in their job remaining available, or other options being open should it not be.
According to recent research from the Yorkshire Building Society, households living in almost two-thirds of local authorities have found buying a home to be more affordable than 12 months before.
Interest rates are at historic lows which makes borrowing funds as cheap as they have ever been. The low Bank of England interest rate coupled with a mortgage lender price war means that 2-year variable and fixed rates are available under 1.2%. Competition remains fierce between lenders and we are all the beneficiaries of this in lower available mortgage rates, making our purchases more affordable.
It is no secret that not enough homes are being built in the UK, living on an island simply means that we are limited to space. With the rise of Buy to Let, many homes that would usually come to the market every 5-7 years are being hoarded long term for retirement planning. There is a shortage-problem and this is not going away any time soon.
In my opinion, now is a great time to be buying a house and getting on the housing ladder. Any background economic uncertainty brought on by Brexit is reducing competition from other buyers, not enough homes are being built, confidence is high in the job market and mortgages are available at record lows. A capital and interest repayment mortgage will be reducing the outstanding debt each month, so even with a static market in terms of house prices, the amount you pay each month will be to your benefit, rather than to your landlord.
Competition is fierce amongst lenders too, with Tesco Bank and Sainsburys Bank now retreating from the market unable to make sufficient profits. There is also a mortgage price war going on, for example, 2 year fixed rates for first-time buyers are approximately 0.5% less than they were 12 months before.
Of course, nobody has a crystal ball and shocks happen because we don’t see them coming, but on balance I would recommend buying with confidence and using the current uncertainty to drive a good bargain on the house and to get one of the cheapest mortgages ever available!
If you are a first-time buyer, professional or self-employed, we provide access to the whole of the market, along with exclusive mortgages and access to Private Banks, saving you time and money.
For more information or any mortgage enquiries, start a conversation with Peter today.