Affordability Crisis

The Office for National Statistics has stated that the average house price hit a record of £273,762 in January, a 9.9 per cent increase in the year (or £24,000) which has sparked fears that the market is on route to an affordability crisis.

Alarming Figures

Throughout England, property cost an average of 9.1 times earnings – up from 7.9 in January 2021. In Wales, it was 6.4 – up from 5.8 a year earlier.

Detached house properties went up in price 12.6 per cent whilst flats went upwards of 5.1 per cent, and new houses saw the biggest soar up 25.4 per cent. This has pointed to a lot of concern about what lies ahead.

As house prices hit new record highs in January of 2022, they caused higher outstripping of wages to a significant degree and raised the risk of the impending affordability crisis. The forcing of buyers in borrowing increases multiples of their salaries and the risk of making property unaffordable as interest rates rise is putting incredible pressure on the market.

Most Recent

The most recent affordability figures cover 2021, and furlough pay does paint a more dramatic picture. However, with the average property costing around 9.1 times that of the average salary, the red flag is starting to appear ever more clear that something is destined to take effect sooner rather than later.

Comparing these figures to those in 1997 when properties were costing an average of just 3.5 times earnings, it is plain to see that an affordability crisis is ever-present on the horizon.

Whilst interest rates are at rock bottom as long as lenders are still willing to give the cash out, buyers will be motivated to take the plunge to gain access to a property faster and not be left on the ladder waiting.

Inflation Concern

Affordable monthly payments make borrowing hundreds of thousands of pounds feel very manageable. Inflation, however, hit 6.2 per cent in February 2022 and is set to rise again, with more hikes due to hit in the coming months ahead. As higher interest rates feed into the cost of new mortgages, buyers stand to be more off-put with the monthly payment figures.

With house prices rising on all sides, many buyers may convince themselves that this may not be the best time to stretch their budgets even thinner. This in turn will help to decrease the demand from people looking to buy a property and catch up with the supply chain which is still trying to catch up.

Contact the team at Joules estate agents Stockport today for all enquiries on how to sell a house and where to buy property in Stockport.

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Renovation Properties Sparks an Interest Increase

Whilst Manchester, Stockport and surrounding areas have some of the best housing throughout the UK, many defunct and derelict buildings have seen better days. In the cases of buildings needing major renovation work, or older industrial complexes that have since closed their doors many years prior.

The Drive to Rebuild

Whilst some people see this as unappealing, others see this as potential – especially in an age where supply is seriously outnumbered by demand. With more and more buyers struggling to find what they want, interest in buildings and older houses that are seeking major refurbishment – including knock-down and rebuild – are sparking a surge in interest.

This could also be due to the property price increase for existing properties on the market, rising significantly since the pandemic in some areas by as much as 30%. Some buyers find what they want but end up shocked and put off by the huge price tag associated with it.

Today, people are becoming more reluctant to spend larger figures on a ready to move into a property that would have cost under a lot less two years back. Now those people have shifted their focus towards something cheaper that needs substantial work doing to it.

Thinking on Costs

As appealing as the lower price tag on a broken-down house or building, factoring in the cost of builders and the currently limited or expensive building supplies that would be required can make this reality seem much harsher and uncertain.

Quotes for builders and supplies are at their highest levels in decades, and the price is not a guaranteed fixed rate throughout the project due to uncertainty over the effects of Brexit, the pandemic and rising electricity prices among others. With builders’ lead times double what they were 3 years ago, the best builders tend to be booked out for months to years at a time also.

Buyers will always hunt for higher quality, and some will feel that they can achieve it themselves by future-proofing from an eco point of view and being aware of running costs. This makes taking on a project good for the long-term, but if you are looking for a home in the short term, retrofitting an old property makes little sense.

Safest Bet

The costs can also raise well past the expected mark when considering the major factors of fixing up an older building, such as work around asbestos management and removal, electrical installations, heating and plumbing and replacing wood within the property which is currently a high priced item with most joinery firms.

If looking to buy property in Stockport, working with independent estate agents Stockport is still the most reliable avenue towards securing a home of your own. Contact the team at Joules today.

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