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A Good Time to Buy?

Thursday, 27th March 2014

Categories: Property Prices Sales

Author: Kris White

With predictions being bandied about left, right and centre of another monumental year of house price growth, buyers across the board must be suffering from sweaty palms and sleepless nights. Whatever your reason for not hopping on board the property boat before now, 2014 will prove to be a testing time. Whether you decide this is the year to take the leap, or you choose to hold off and watch price indexes with baited breath, you’ll need nerves of steel to follow through with your decision.

London calling

For anyone hoping to own their own little pile of bricks and mortar in the capital, there is likely to be an ongoing battle between government policy and runaway house prices. On the one hand, the race is on to agree on and speed through the construction of thousands of much-needed new homes. But in the meantime, rising prices mean first-time buyers continue to see the carrot dangled in front of them, only to have it cruelly pulled away again.

Over the odds

It remains a sellers’ market in many boroughs, which means buyers will not only expect to pay more this year than last year for the same property, but they will also potentially have to enter into bidding wars in order to secure a deal. With first-time buyers able to compete with second or third-time buyers in terms of budget – due to years of hard saving – there is now a larger pot of potential buyers for each property that comes onto the market. And what second time buyers have in terms of property experience, first timers have in terms of being chain free, with a hearty cash deposit sitting in the bank.

Foreign investors

With everyone pinning their hopes on new developments, ministers are desperately trying to curb the common practise of advertising prime London new-builds abroad, ahead of their release in the capital. This process has done little to assuage the housing shortage – instead it has seen an increase in absentee homeowners, and an artificial hike in property prices, as foreign investors are prepared to pay over the odds for long-term additions to their portfolios.