The latest property headlines sellers must read

The latest property headlines sellers must read

If you're in the process of selling your home or thinking about putting your property on the market in the next few months, keeping up with the latest property news can be good preparation for the home moving process.

If you're in the process of selling your home or thinking about putting your property on the market in the next few months, keeping up with the latest property news can be good preparation for the home moving process.

It's always good to know what the modern property buyer is looking for as well as having an understanding of the general condition of your local housing market, alongside the wider UK picture.

With this in mind, each month we round up some of the biggest stories which might pique the interest of the nation's property sellers.

Here's what's been going on in the past few weeks...

Stamp duty back in the headlines as UK's housebuilding programme confirmed

This time last year George Osborne shook up the property world, announcing a stamp duty reform in his Autumn Statement that intended to make buying a home cheaper for 98% of property purchasers.

This year, stamp duty was once again at the centre of it all but this time the announcement was to confirm that from next April purchasers of buy-to-let properties or second homes will have to pay an additional 3% stamp duty surcharge.

This year's Autumn Statement also revealed how much money is to be put aside for the government's various housebuilding schemes as well as moves to boost shared ownership and the launch of a Help to Buy London initiative.

All of these measures mark the official start of the government's plans to turn 'Generation Rent' into 'Generation Buy'. We've taken a closer look at the Autumn Statement, which you can read here.

Mortgage borrowing continues to rise as buyers snap up deals

The British Banking Association (BBA) recently revealed that gross mortgage borrowing during October totalled some £12.9 billion – an increase of 26% when compared to 2014.

It was also the highest figure recorded since August 2008. The BBA's figures also show that the number of mortgage approvals has increased by around 27% compared to a year ago.

"Consumers remain confident and their incomes are growing. Mortgage rates are at multi-year lows and people are snapping up the very competitive deals being offered by banks," commented Richard Woolhouse, chief economist at the BBA.

Increased mortgage lending and approvals are both positive signs for sellers and prospective sellers. These figures show that demand for homes is still extremely high, increasing sellers' chances of exchanging quickly and achieving a higher sale price.

More property buyers are being influenced by mobile phone coverage

Having a good mobile phone signal at home is now more important than the quality of local schools, according to RootMetrics' second annual house purchasing decision survey.

The research suggests that as many as 83% of people have had signal problems at the current home, while 54% have experienced mobile internet issues.

Therefore, almost a third said that if they had knowledge of mobile phone reception problems it would discourage them from buying or renting a property.

What this shows us is that having good mobile phone signal in your home, then, is becoming a key property selling point and something you should inform prospective buyers of.

Property marketing: Rightmove publishes festive success as Zoopla app reaches milestone

The UK's two biggest property search websites have been in the headlines again recently, detailing their success as the go-to websites for prospective property buyers.

Some interesting findings for people thinking about putting their home on the market in the near future, Rightmove recently revealed that buyer searches ramp up on Christmas Day all the way through to the New Year – a historically busy time for the property market.

The portal says that there is a huge surge of property browsing on Boxing Day and that last year there were even 1 million+ visits on Christmas Day itself.

Meanwhile, Zoopla recently announced that its property-finding app had passed the 7 million download milestone.

The website also said that 49% of all interactions on Zoopla and its sister website Primelocation were from a smartphone.

These announcements reinforce the importance of marketing your property on both of these websites as time and again they attract the biggest audiences of prospective property buyers.  

Average house prices could rise by a further 25% in next five years

As we're consistently told, house prices have grown considerably in the past couple of years. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, known as RICS for short, has now predicted that we will see further average price rises of 4.5% in each of the next five years – equating to overall growth of around 25%.

The organisation says, of course, that the reason for this remains that fact that there is a shortage of properties coming to market, while demand for homes remains high. In fact, RICS says that during October the number of properties coming to market fell for the ninth month in succession.

These may just be predictions, but what they do hammer home is that now really is a good time to sell – as competition among buyers for the limited market stock continues to push up prices.

That's it for now – we'll be back with another round up in December.