Monday, August 16, 2010

The Future of the UK housing Market

As a landlord and former mortgage adviser I maintain a keen interest in the UK Housing Market. Recently I placed my house on the market in an attempt to sell it.

It is a 3 bedroom property on the outskirts of London very close to a tube station and near the new Olympic site. I initially decided to test the market by putting it on at a price I knew was unrealistic £260,000.

At the time mine was the only property in the block for sale - however, I had not enquiries. Shortly after my property came up for sale two other similar properties entered the market priced at £247,500 and £240,000 respectively.

As I was keen to sell and loosing money every month that it was not rented I priced my property accordingly at £230,000.

As soon as I dropped the price I had a series of viewings. I was not willing to drop much below this as these properties have changed hands for over £245,000.

Six months into this process my buyer pulls out leaving me back at step one and now I have to make the difficult decision to jump one way or another. Do I re market it and hope to get a new buyer? Or do I bite the bullet and rent it out until conditions improve.

The future of the UK housing market is uncertain with strong pressures in both directions.

Upward Pressure on House Prices
  • Population Growth and a lack of new homes especially in the London Area.
  • Historically Low Interest Rates
  • Proximity to the Olympic Park
  • Proximity to the new Stratford International Train Station
  • Inflation means increasing wages which reflect in increased house prices
Downward Pressure on House Prices
  • An increase in Sellers due to the abolition of the HIP
  • More restrictive lending criteria
  • Continuing economic uncertainty
  • Public sector job cuts
Then you have to consider the pressures on rental yields. With many people being unable to buy the rental market has remained buoyant and people will always need a place to live. Inflationary pressures should increase wages and hence increase rents. But what will happen only time will tell.

I personally am going to retain ownership of my portfolio for the meantime and try to rent out my second property. Hopefully come the 2012 Olympic games property prices will be back on track and if not - at least I have covered the cost of servicing the debt on the two properties.

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