- Thu 25 Jun 2015
‘Now is the best time to buy in the SW that there has ever been’
I say that with 100% certainty, backed by the following facts. The election provided a Government who recognise the needs of the property market and are actively trying to help with the only difficulties of affordability for First Time Buyers and inflating prices due to disproportionate supply and demand. Put very simply there are not enough homes to go around and this drives the prices up to a level where First Time Buyers struggle to get onto the ladder. The government incentives with “Help to Buy” certainly do help, along with the bank of Mum and Dad. Once on the ladder then the future looks very rosy with steady price rises set to continue.
The biggest single reason to buy right now is Mortgages are available, the rates are at rock bottom and the mortgage market is stable with the low rates set to continue for the foreseeable future, therefore the cost of property ownership will be as low as it ever can be. Property is a fantastic investment right now with a very health surplus of income over expenditure available of say a £160,000 buy to let property with a 75% mortgage. This is allowing a whole new generation of landlords to invest in property and with the reforms in the pension market just having taken place it is clear that property is providing a much better return on investment than the old style annuity. Watch out for new schemes becoming available where you may be able to invest your pension pot into a property investment scheme where the property will be managed for you in conjunction with other similar investors, this is likely to become more available over the next year.
So what are the other factors influencing our market here in the West Country. The much discussed ‘Poldark effect’ both the BBC version and the ‘Real Poldark’ on youtube! These certainly roused the interest in Cornwall in the early months of the year and this has continued. Economic recovery, Stamp Duty reform and market confidence all have helped the market so far this year and will continue to help the market but above all else the South West is a very desirable place to live. We have so many Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty with fantastic beaches, safe clean waters for all varieties of water sports and our coastal and moorland walks better than anywhere in the world. The South West is leading the country in communications and with more people working from home this is another reason why people are moving west. Why wouldn’t you want to live in the most beautiful part of the country if you can chose where you live and work?
All of the things mentioned above combine to make for a very positive market, one which is set to increase in value due to a greater demand than supply and one where it is the most attainable it has ever been with Mortgages at virtually an all-time low. Prices have just started to record increases in relation to 2014 in real terms of contracts exchanged prices but the prices of sales agreed are rising higher which will increase the statistic prices at exchange in a couple of months’ time. My forecast of a steady 5% growth from the start of the year is still accurate and completely in line with what the year has produced so far so if you are thinking of selling the buyers are there and waiting for your property. If you are thinking of buying then the time will never be better, it will never be more affordable than it is today and with rising prices you will get a great investment too.
Francis Marshall is the Managing Director of Bradleys Estate Agents, the West Country’s largest independent estate agents with 33 offices covering from Taunton to Penzance.
Bradleys Managing Director