The UK housing market has continued to boom, despite fears of a post-referendum slump. The average asking price across England and Wales rocketed to £313,000 last month – a 1.1% increase on the EU Referendum high of June 2016.
Figures released by Rightmove, suggest that first-time buyers played a major contribution in pushing the prices up. This sector alone has seen a year-on-year increase of 6.5%, with the average price of a property with up to two bedrooms, being at a record high of £194,881. More houses are being sold now, than at any other time since the credit crunch. The Government’s ‘Help-to-Buy’ scheme has undoubtedly played a role in the rise in sales as the number of first time buyers making offers has gone up by a whopping 22%.
Most regions recorded price rises, except for Greater London and the North East. Yorkshire and Humberside saw a 2.2% rise in house prices, but Leeds-based Estate Agent, Manning Stainton have recorded an impressive 3.1%. Despite the high demand for two bedroom or smaller homes, the pace of market growth is much steadier than it was last year and this is good news for first time buyers.
If the number of new builds and properties coming to the market remains consistent, these trends should continue for the rest of 2017. Paul Wilson from Just Mortgages says there are now 10 buyers for every property in England and Wales. The high demand for new builds combined with attractive mortgage rates currently available to first time buyers, means that people are becoming less hesitant to buy their first home.
Despite the increase in sales, there is still an imbalance between wages and property prices. First time buyers are opting for new builds now that the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme is making home ownership more achievable for young people. When purchasing a new build, first time buyers are often sacrificing space for affordability. At Hartleys, we regularly furnish such properties with space-saving designs to maximise the functionality and storage options in smaller rooms. Multi-purpose furniture allows a bedroom to double up as a home study and fold-down beds allow homeowners to accommodate guests in rooms otherwise used for a different purpose.
If you have recently moved into a new build and you are struggling with space, visit our Skipton showroom and speak to one of our design experts, who are always on hand to provide valuable advice.