Moving Home in 2022?

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nick statonMoving home in North London or Hertfordshire in 2022

By Nick Staton – Owner Statons Estate Agents

The local property market, from the leafy North London Suburbs into the picturesque Hertfordshire villages have been the busiest I can remember in a very long time. Certainly, during the past year, the market has been frenetic. Caused in part by the fairly considerable savings available from the government stamp duty holiday, which ended in September 2021.

Adding further to the surge in demand are the ‘search for space’ buyers. These are often more urban-based people, who are taking advantage of their new found freedom from being office based, with home working having become a real option for many. These buyers are looking for homes that offer more space, both inside and out, with room for home working.

These market conditions resulted in what the main stream media now refer to as a ‘buyer frenzy’, as highly motivated buyers competing against each other for dwindling numbers of available properties. Supply was often not sufficient to meet such strong demand, the result inevitably caused prices to increase and by the end of 2021, as widely reported that house prices had increased by a little over 10%.

To put this into perspective, In the UK as a whole, one in 16 homes are expected to have changed hands in 2021, equating to over 1.5 million property purchases.

Signs of Normality

From conversations with many of our clients, and as a result of the over-heated property market of last year, their planned home moves were put off, preferring to sit tight and weather the storm. Of these, a good number had already postponed a move from the previous year due to the Covid lockdowns in 2020.

January is generally a fairly quiet month, as people recover from the Christmas festivities and new year celebrations. This has not been the case this year, with many local sellers reconsidering their postponed home move for 2022. For those with reinvigorated hopes for moving, there is some good news, certainly in and around our office network from Totteridge and Barnet to Hadley Wood, Radlett and Brookmans Park, as the initial signs are that some normality is beginning to return to the local property market.

Moving home in 2022, what to expect

It’s early days, but local property market conditions have slowed compared to last year, there is still strong buyer demand, this is down to the relatively low levels of property stock available on the market. Although, with the increase in local home owners requesting a valuation in early January, signs are that more property will be coming to the market over the coming weeks and months.

The local sellers that have been put off moving in the previous year or two are now keen to take advantage of the current more civilised market conditions, whilst the property market is still strong. There are some very compelling arguments for a move in 2022!

It’s a sellers’ market –  If you’re selling a property, a sellers’ market is the best time to sell your home. Prices are strong, and you can generally make a sale on your terms, not those dictated by a buyer in a buyers market.

Mortgage interest rates –  There is currently some uncertainty from lenders around mortgage interest rates with concerns about inflation. Although interest rates remain comparatively low relative to the average, despite the Bank of England increasing interest rates in December from 0.1% to 0.25%.

Mortgage lenders will always be competing for your mortgage business and there are still some low fixed-rate mortgages available, with the uncertainty of possible further increase in Interest rates, now is a good time to be in the mortgage market.

Best advice for home movers

The best advice I can offer is not to put yourself under pressure… Sounds simple, and it’s something I hear myself saying often. Although sadly, and more often than not, I see many people making the same mistake. By finding the home of their dreams without being able to proceed immediately, and subsequently lose out to someone that is.

So, to give yourself the best chance of success, by all means, look to see what’s available in your price range, but then put your home on the market and when you receive an acceptable offer, then you are in a great position to go and find that home of your dreams.

Stay safe and happy house hunting.

Thanks for reading

Nick Staton – Statons Estate Agents

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