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Archive for April, 2013

Uncertainty in the Housing Market

If you search the internet for terms relating to ‘uncertainty in the housing market’, you’ll see many results dating from the last days of 2012. This was when there was indeed plenty of uncertainty about where the housing market would go next.

So how does the market look now we are a third of the way into 2013? The good news is that things are looking brighter than they have done in the past. There are many facts, figures and news stories reporting on a rather brighter future than was the case some four months ago. Indeed, some have stuck their necks out and claimed the housing market will experience a revival this year. It remains to be seen whether this comes to pass of course, but it will be interesting to watch closely to see what happens next.

Figures from Ernst and Young have pointed to the number of home movers breaking through the one million barrier. This is a significant upward trend and if the experts at Ernst and Young are correct in their assessment, this will mean the market is at its healthiest since before the economic crisis first got underway several years ago.

Some experts have pointed at the new Help to Buy scheme created by the government as the driving force behind the figures. In reality, an increase in house prices and the fact that mortgages are becoming more accessible will also be likely to have an effect.

In practice then, the uncertainty that surrounded the housing market in recent months has receded, if not disappeared altogether. Of course, if we are to become supremely confident about the housing market, these hesitant trends will need to continue for far longer than a few short months. As we have seen with the economy, it is perfectly possible to have a few months of good news followed by another few steps backward.

However, according to information released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders, January and February this year saw the biggest number of first time buyers entering the market since 2008. This fact alone is highly encouraging, and will no doubt persuade other potential buyers that they too can finally get on the housing ladder. This, combined with the new Help to Buy scheme, should help get the housing market firmly back on its feet.

Now wouldn’t that be a delightful piece of news to report on?

Is Another Recession on the Way?

There have been lots of questions lately over the potential for a triple dip recession. Since the original heavy hitting recession of a few years ago, the UK has slid back into it once already. The thought that a triple dip could be on the way was branded as unthinkable by some.

Fortunately, a few hours before we wrote this post, it was announced the UK economy had actually grown – albeit by a slight amount – in the first three months of the year. The Office of National Statistics confirmed the improvement amounted to 0.3% over those three months.

This is good news of course, and it has allowed us to dodge the bullet of the triple dip recession. But will this good news last? We had a poor quarter of results at the end of 2011, followed by another two quarters of bad results to lead us into the middle of 2012. We then improved vastly last summer, thanks in part to the Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics. The final quarter of 2012 saw the UK in negative growth again though, so it is heartening that the country has managed to perk up again now.

In terms of the housing market, things have been cautiously improving in recent months. However, the overall picture is very different to the one you’ll see if you look deeper into the regional results. London and the South East have predictably healthy rises in house prices, whereas other areas such as Wales and more northern parts of the country are struggling.

In essence, even though we have escaped the idea of a triple dip for the moment, the threat is never that far away. The next three months will reveal whether we can breathe a sigh of relief, or whether the threat of the third recession since 2008 could still be on the way. We can only hope that mildly encouraging signs in the housing market give the economy something of a boost. It will of course take more than this to ensure the country bounces back from this prolonged period in the doldrums, but at least we are not alone. Many other countries are also suffering as a result of the biggest recession the world has seen for many years.

We shall keep watch and ponder the potential for a rise or a fall in the economy for the next three months.

House Prices Over The Last 10 Years

Unless you have been living completely independently of all news sources over the last few years, you will know that housing prices in the UK have taken a real beating. Things have been starting to look up recently, but there is a long way to go yet before they return to the heady heights we experienced in the years before the recession rolled in.

However, there are some statistics that point to better times ahead. Plenty of sources in recent times have revealed slight increases in house prices. While these have varied markedly in different areas – with London and the South East looking particularly promising – the overall trend is still a positive one.


How far have we come?

If you were to look back to house prices in the UK ranging from around 2002 onwards, you would see a gradual and steady rise in prices up until around 2007. We then experienced a major dip in prices that lasted until around 2009. This was the worst part of the recession that led to the average house price falling by some considerable amount across the country.

However, since 2009 or thereabouts, prices have started to recover, albeit in a cautious way. They were still way below the peak that occurred just prior to the start of the recession, but at least they were heading in the right direction.

Another steady rise occurred until the beginning of 2010, when prices then took another dip. Fortunately this dip was not as severe as the one at the beginning of the recession. However, the prices then started to head back in the right direction again.


How long could it be before we achieve the heights seen prior to the recession?

By all accounts it will be some time yet – several years in fact – before we can hope to achieve those heights again. The housing market has seen several improvements in recent months, but 2013 still looks set to be challenging for anyone who wants to sell their home and get a reasonable price for it.

Clearly the trick is to find the right buyer. You may not get the same price you would have got some seven or eight years ago, but there is still an opportunity to make a quick sale and get a reasonable price for your home too. Things are looking better now than they did a few years ago.

Getting a House Ready for Sale

If you have decided the time is right to sell your home, it is vital to think about staging your property in order to achieve the best result. If you’ve never heard of staging before, now is the time to find out more about it. Staging can make a big difference between getting an average price and getting a good price for your property, not to mention getting a faster sale.

Don’t think home – think property

Selling your home can be an emotional experience. You may have lived in it for many years and become attached to it in many ways. However, selling it means giving it up to someone else. The sooner you start thinking of it as a saleable property the easier it will be to get it ready to sell.

Strip it down

Now is the best time to pack away as much as you can. Even though you may not sell your home for a while, you might get a fast sale. You will also stand a better chance of selling your home quickly if you present it as a blank canvas for someone else to use. Put things into storage if you have to – the idea is to take yourself out of the property so someone else can more easily imagine themselves there.

Start cleaning!

Okay so no one loves cleaning that much, but this is one time when it will really pay dividends to get stuck in. Clean your windows and windowsills inside and out, and clean the front door too. Sweep any paths and tidy the garden up (again, front and back) and make sure you run the vacuum round indoors too. If you have stained carpets it can often be worth getting them professionally cleaned. Either that, or hire a cleaner and do it yourself.

Replace anything that needs replacing

This could be anything from a leaky bathroom tap to the wallpaper peeling off in the spare bedroom. Sometimes it is better to invest a little money in certain parts of your property, in order to get a better result when it comes to selling it. You might be able to get a slightly higher price and sell faster than you would otherwise.

By putting these few steps into practice, you can make sure you get the best possible result. If you want to sell your home fast, you can help make it happen.

Ways to Make Your House Sell Faster

When you make the decision to put your home on the market, you want to get the fastest sale you possibly can. Fortunately there are a number of ways you can increase the odds in your favour. Let’s go through some of them now so you can see how easily you can sell your home fast.

Go for a realistic price

It’s a good idea to request several valuations of your property from different agents. You can then take their estimates and make your property available for sale at a good price that will tempt buyers. Pricing too high can mean your property will sit on the market for months, perhaps even longer.

Go for a good first impression

It doesn’t matter how good the interior looks if the front garden hasn’t been introduced to a lawnmower in years and there are weeds growing in the path. Make sure you give the garden (if you have one) some TLC. A little goes a long way. Clean the front windows and frames too, and give the exterior a fresh coat of paint. None of this costs very much, but the time and money invested could well result in a much faster sale. It can even influence the asking price.

Get rid of your stuff

De-cluttering can make a world of difference. It makes your rooms look bigger and it takes away the impression someone is living there. It also means potential buyers can picture themselves living in your property without having to look at pictures of your kids on the walls. Put everything you can in storage – you might even benefit by removing some items of furniture if you don’t need them. Bookcases and the myriad of books they hold is a great example of this.

Grab some fresh tins of paint in neutral colours

Yes, we’ve heard the neutral colours argument before, haven’t we? But it’s highlighted for a good reason. Bright colours might be ideal for you but calmer more natural colours are better when it comes to selling your property. They make a room look bigger and also more welcoming and relaxing – just the impression you want to give when you’re looking for buyers.

You can see it isn’t as simple as putting your property on the market. However, spending a little time and money making it look and feel at its very best will ensure you get the best price in double quick time.

Selling a House in a Tough Climate

If you’re in no great hurry to sell your property you might be happy to wait it out until the marketplace improves. Things might be looking up since the depths of the recession, but it’s still not easy to make a sale.

This begs the question: what do you do if you need or want to sell now, while the climate is still tough?

Look at all the options

Most people think of visiting an estate agent and getting a valuation to get the ball rolling when they want to sell their home. However, this isn’t the only option. Indeed, if you want a fast sale it is a good idea to consider all your options. These include contacting sell my house fast agents if you want to have a fast sale and move on to the next phase of your life – and your next property as well.

Make your home as appealing as possible

Most people realise it makes sense to present your home in the best possible light when you want to sell it. You wouldn’t invite guests in without making an effort to clean and tidy up a bit, would you? The same applies (arguably even more so) when you want to sell.

A tough housing climate means it becomes even harder to sell your home than it would be otherwise. So it is worth spending some time de-cluttering and sprucing up your home wherever you can. Clean the windows and doors. De-personalise it by taking down family photos and other similar items. Walk through your home as if you were someone viewing it with a possibility of buying. Make sure it looks smart and you’ll reap the rewards.

It might be tough to sell, but it isn’t impossible

You can see that even when the market seems to be against you, you can still successfully sell your house. All you need to do is find the right method for doing so. It’s all about being pro-active instead of reading the headlines in the news. By focusing on what YOU can do and how you can beat the statistics, you’ll be able to get the sale you want at the price you’d like, no matter how challenging the housing market might be at the moment.

In short, there is nothing you can’t do if you put your mind to it.