Will First Time Buyers Be the First to Ease Off in 2022?

As of the beginning of 2022, the number of first time buyers has been estimated to sail past the 400,000 mark – the highest it has been since before 2008 and the global financial crisis.

In the face of so many uncertainties implanted from the third lockdown of early 2021, the wealth of first-time buyer transactions reached the highs of 408,379 in a year where there was a 35 per cent increase over 2020. Today, first-time buyers make up 30 per cent of all house purchases with a mortgage – up from 36 per cent in 2007.

Looking Back

You would have to travel back 15 years to see transactions at this level, with 2006 being the previous buyer peak where 400,900 jumped onto the first step of the housing ladder. When the financial crisis of 2008 occurred, the numbers hovered around half of the current amount at 200,000.

Today, the falling unemployment numbers, low borrowing costs and low deposit mortgage deals are driving the demand for the first-time buyer crowd. These buyers have also not been deterred by the price of their first home either, which has increased by 9% in this past year. The huge benefit of being able to increase their deposits through the stamp duty holiday and sudden drop in expenditure during lockdowns has kept them focused and driven over the past year.

First-time buyers are typically in the high-income groups who have had a significant benefit on their financial standing during Covid-19 restrictions, making 60% of first-time buyers among the top 40% of the income distribution.

Demand Over Supply

In the near-term, housing demand is going to continue to exceed supply. The expectation now is that prices elevating in comparison to local earnings will see a dampening of activity. This is expected to see first-time buyers be among the first to taper off with interest.

With many first-time buyers focusing their efforts to buy property in Stockport and more rural areas away from city living, looking for the perfect home to start building towards family life – it is unlikely that first-time activity numbers will continue to stay at the 2021 levels and 2022 will see a more concentrated effort from those homeowners looking to sell up and move onwards.

Uncertainty

As with anything, uncertainty plays a huge shadow over everything to do with the economy. Different variants of the coronavirus are always going to play a big part in fluctuation and demand, with home viewings potentially scuppered if a more serious state of lockdown is reintroduced.

Whilst this may feel even more pent up demand, it may also scupper the desire for people to move out of their surroundings in a time of crisis – meaning things could slow considerably more.

Contact the team at Joules Estate Agents Stockport for all information on first time buyers, how to sell a house and buy a property advice.

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Initial Outlook for 2022

With the housing market ending 2021 on record highs for house prices, all initial thoughts running into 2022 has been in the area of positivity that it will carry over for many months to come.

However, due to the current surge in Omicron cases sweeping through the country and the potential for further restrictions to come back into play – the outlook may not be as bright as expected.

Current Talk

The current talk around the water cooler is that the housing market will see a slowing sooner than expected in 2022, especially if vendors are deterred from allowing some viewings of properties.

The Omicron variant could be the biggest factor reinforcing the slowdown if it leads to a weaker labour market. If wider economic conditions remain resilient, higher interest rates would also provide cooling down.

House price growth has steadily outpaced income growth significantly in the past 18 months, leaving the affordability of housing less in favour than pre-pandemic levels. At this point, uncertainty is the name of the game.

Unexpected Year

In 2021, the strength of the market surpassed all expectations and has the potential to do so again as 2022 progresses. The market still has significant momentum and shifts in housing preferences resulting from the pandemic and it could support activity and price growth moving forward. For the near term, however, the Omicron variant could serve to reinforce the shift in preferences.

The spread of the virus could also play a significant impact on 2022. In 2020, the first pandemic lockdown strengthened the demand for housing due to the pent-up frustration demand, fueled by the full loss of the ability to travel on holiday and the need for more space. This led to more and more people relocating from urban city areas to buy property in Stockport and other rural areas.

Wider Appeal

The appeal of greener pastures with good countryside links saw the most interest from first-time buyers taking full advantage of the stamp duty holiday, second home seekers and people wanting to upscale to bigger houses with more room. People as far as Birmingham and London sought out rural northwest areas in Stockport and Cheshire upon realising they could work from home – choosing a more luxurious setting away from the cities throughout 2021.

With rising Omicron cases in the Christmas run-up, as well as inflation and interest rates rising, reduced activity in the market was apparent yet not significant.

Many are suggesting that further Covid restrictions will lead to another dose of pent-up demand. The difference with this round will be the continued lack of supply compromising the momentum, as well as sellers potentially being put off of holding viewings for buyers out of concern for rising Covid levels in the area.

Contact the team at Joules estate agents Stockport for all the information on how to sell a house, advice on renting a house and how to buy property in Stockport.

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will house prices rise again

Will House Prices Rise Again in 2022?

Many people are sitting and waiting to see what the state of the housing sector will be upon the arrival of 2022, and change may not be apparent as soon as the new month arrives. So, will house prices rise again or not? It may take months for the real state and calming of the 2021 housing boom to showcase its future outlook.

Outlook

Whilst average prices fall by 1.1 per cent in December as a result of buyer and seller deals agreed in the autumn, impacted by the end of the stamp duty holiday and fall back to normal demand levels – the prices agreed between buyers and sellers from October and November will be reflected by a 2.5 increase in January, most likely due to the severe shortage of new stock hitting the market.

House price growth in 2022 is seen as inevitable when based on transactions currently underway, with the autumn’s strong market performance against a lack of stock and increasing levels of buyer demand helping to support prices.

Back of Christmas

Over Christmas, there has been some added fuel to impact the housing market buyer sentiment, with the current spread of the Omicron variant bringing a lot of uncertainty and concern over working conditions or employment, as well as inflation and economic growth.

With interest rates currently remaining very low, the first rise feels very significant and highlights that despite the escalation of the covid-19 situation, the Bank of England will not hold back on tackling rising inflation.

With rising borrowing costs impacting the ability and suitability of first-time buyers continuing their ascent on the market, those currently in the position to buy may find themselves pressured to flick the switch and secure a fixed rate deal as soon as they can.

Stockport Scene

Will house prices rise again in Stockport? Those still actively looking to buy property in Stockport, the northwest’s highest sought borough, are jointly concerned about the availability of housing in the area – fighting off not just first time buyers, but also people coming from other parts of the country who have realised that they do not need to travel to the busy office to work, and prefer a more rural countryside setting.

With national and high street estate agents Stockport seeing record numbers of enquiries over the last year, and many more people looking to secure a property very quickly – the call from people enquiring how to sell a house is all-important. Those who have been sitting on their decision to make a move and sell up are standing in great stead for the next month at least.

Contact the team at Joules estate agents today for all buy property advice.

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