Market update: The latest news for home movers

Market update: The latest news for home movers

As we enter the summer holidays, online estate agency, Tepilo, identifies six of the hottest news stories affecting home owners in recent weeks.

There's a lot to consider when moving home - whether you are buying, selling or both.

As well as working with property professionals - estate agents, mortgage brokers, conveyancers - that provide the best possible service, you can stay one step ahead by keeping up to date with what is going on in the housing market.

With this in mind, we've put together a round-up of some of the most significant recent news stories in the property world...

Asking prices stable as summer holidays begin

According to the latest figures from Rightmove, average asking prices of properties coming to the market are stable in spite of the traditional summer slowdown.

The property website reports that the average asking price of a newly priced property increased by 0.1% between June and July, equivalent to around £300.

Housing market analyst and Rightmove director Miles Shipside says that sellers coming to market now have to price their properties 'more keenly'.

He adds, however, that market fundamentals remain strong, particularly when compared to the post-referendum period in 2016.

Help to Buy scheme has helped almost 250,000 first-time buyers

The Help to Buy scheme has been around in one form or another for four years now and, according to recent figures from the government, it has helped lots of first-time buyers on to the property ladder.

Since its inception, Help to Buy has directly helped 240,000 first-time buyers (285,000 buyers in total).

What's more, the Help to Buy ISA - launched in December 2015 - has been used by almost one million prospective buyers to save money towards a home.

We recently analysed the effectiveness of the various Help to Buy initiatives here.

Mortgage market still offering favourable rates for borrowers

It’s a well-known fact that mortgage rates have been at record lows for quite some time now. And, according to the latest mortgage market monitor from Moneyfacts, there are still plenty of favourable deals to be had.

Between June and July, for example, the average rate for a two-year fixed mortgage fell by 0.04%.

Mortgage rates are falling due to increased competition among lenders, who are keen to move borrowers from Standard Variable Rate products.

Speculation about when the Bank of England may increase the base interest rate is rife, but it seems likely to stay at a record low of 0.25% for the next few months at least.

Political uncertainty could be undermining the housing market

Offering an alternative view to Rightmove, a recent report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) suggests that domestic political uncertainty is having a negative effect on the housing market.

Some 44% of surveyors contributing to the report said political uncertainty was the biggest factor influencing the market. This was followed by Brexit and stamp duty (in London).

Interestingly, during June just 7% of surveyors taking part in the study said they saw a rise rather than a fall in average property prices.

When looking at three month and 12 month sales expectations, meanwhile, RICS surveyors believe there will be an increase in activity.

There is no housing bubble in the capital

A financial expert has recently gone on record to say that he believes the London house market is not in a bubble or moving towards a crash.

John Hawksworth of Price Waterhouse Coopers says that key fundamentals suggest the market in the capital is set to 'stay afloat' for the foreseeable future.

These include record low mortgage rates, an undersupply of homes and a population that continues to grow significantly.

Hawksworth says that price growth may be 'sluggish' over the next few years, but that he doesn't expect the London market to crash as some people have been predicting.

More buyers are considering purchasing with friends and family

We've heard plenty about buyers receiving assistance from their families when it comes to buying a home, but there could be a new trend on the horizon.

A study carried out by Furniture Choice has revealed that some 38% of prospective buyers would consider purchasing a property with a friend or friends.

As you might expect, the concept is most popular among younger people with 45% of 18-24-year-olds admitting to having thought about purchasing with their friends.

However, the most common reasons for buyers not wanting to enter the market with mates are the prospect of falling out, a lack of trust or the inability for all parties to make the required financial contribution.

That’s it for now. As you can see from the above stories, the property market remains in good shape and it is still a good time to buy or sell a property.

There are, however, a range of challenges buyers and sellers have to contend with and those who keep up to date with market developments are most likely to prosper.