If house prices could fall, is now the right time to buy a home?

by Scott Anscomb

By Scott Anscomb, Your Move Anscombs Estate Agents

Scott Anscomb, owner of Your Move Anscombs Estate Agents in York, considers how we view the cost of home ownership in these uncertain economic times.

Over the past year, demand for homes has continued to outstrip supply leading to a 10% increase in prices according to Rightmove. However, with the cost of living rising at an unprecedented rate, it is reasonable to expect that prices can’t keep rising at this pace. So, will house prices level out or will they fall?

Commentators from industry experts to journalists in the media have varying opinions, but who is right and whose advice should you listen to? Many will have believed at the start of the pandemic that the market would go into free-fall, however, it did quite the opposite.

So, in reality no-one really knows. If you are a first time buyer, or someone who doesn’t own their own home, should you worry about entering the market now if you have the option to do so?

It is a fact that the vast majority of us buy a property first and foremost as a home. Of course, we also want it to be a good investment, but that’s not the primary reason for buying it. Owning our home rather than renting is something most of us aspire to do. Even with rising interest rates, in many cases your mortgage payments will be cheaper than the rent on a similar home. And the real beauty is that it’s yours, giving you the freedom to do what you like to your home and the positive feeling of knowing you own it.

It is, however, reasonable to consider that house prices could fall in the short term. If that was to happen, you could take the view that you would lose money as a result. However, unless you have to sell at that point and realise that loss, and most people don’t because a home is a long term purchase, then it’s not an issue as prices will more than likely rise again during the time you own the house.

It’s a similar story when I speak to people about investing money improving their home. I believe it is worth having the best quality available to you. That may mean if you sold the house immediately after the work was done, you may lose money. However, if you are not doing it to sell, and you intend to be in your home for 5 years or more then you will get real value from enjoying it every day, and in the long term it will add value to the house and probably make it easier to sell. After all, you don’t buy a car or go on holiday and expect to get your money back. Therefore, it’s worth applying some of the same ethos to the cost of home ownership, only that in the long run you are likely to get your money back and maybe more!

If you are thinking of buying or selling and would like any advice, or would like a valuation of your current home, you can contact me or my team at Your Move Anscombs on 01904 621532.

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