If you’re living in the UK and considering buying a house, you’re likely wondering if now is the right time to take the leap. With fluctuating local housing markets and economic uncertainty, it can be challenging to make an informed decision. So should you buy a house now? Lets explore the factors you should consider.
The Housing Market
One of the most crucial factors to consider when deciding whether to buy a house is the state of the housing market. As of early 2023, the UK’s housing market is showing signs of stabilisation after a period of high demand and rising prices. However, it’s worth noting that the market can change quickly, and it’s essential to keep an eye on trends and indicators that may impact prices.
While house prices may not plummet, they’re also not rising as they have in recent years.
As always it’s important to be realistic about your budget and your expectations when it comes to buying a house. If you can afford a home that meets your needs, and you’re willing to make a long-term investment, now may be a good time to buy for you.
Another factor to consider when deciding whether to buy a house is the current interest rates.
The recent Bank of England’s base rate rises are impacting mortgage rates and repayments so it’s important to take into account your future financial outlook and your ability to afford your mortgage repayments in the long term.
Your Personal Circumstances
When it comes to buying a house, your personal circumstances will also play a significant role in your decision-making process.
Consider factors such as your job security, your savings, and your long-term financial goals. If you’re in stable employment and have a good amount of savings, it may be a good time to buy a home. However, if you’re unsure about your future financial stability, it may be worth waiting until you’re in a more secure position.
The location of the property you’re considering buying is also an important consideration.
Remember, the UK housing market is a series of micro-markets, and while some areas may be experiencing rising prices, others may be experiencing a slowdown or even a decline.
Consider the local job market, schools, and other amenities when deciding where to buy a house. It’s also worth keeping an eye on any planned developments or infrastructure projects in the area, as these can impact the future value of your property.
Our property report can tell you this and more – know any property instantly.
Should I buy a house now or wait?
Truthfully, this depends on your individual circumstances also, including:
- Can you afford a mortgage?
- Don’t just look at monthly repayments, but other expenses, such as the cost of running a home
- Your personal circumstances e.g. is your employment stable?
- Why are you looking to move?
- How long do you envisage living in this property?
Moving home isn’t something to be taken lightly, it’s complicated and costly – likely the biggest financial decision most of us will ever make. House prices have increased faster than wages, which is something to consider carefully.
In short: the answer doesn’t depend on factors like house prices alone, but on your individual situation.
But, if you’re itching to move, have your finances in order and are ready to progress, there’s no reason why now isn’t the right time to buy your dream home.
What if I have a house to sell?
High house prices could work in your favour if you have a property to sell also. However, many of the same rules apply. The answer to ‘is it a good time to sell a house?’ depends largely on your personal circumstances.
It can be tempting to strike while the iron’s hot, but you should pause and assess if it’s the right decision for you first.
For example, the cost of moving house adds up, so are you sure you can afford it right now?
Tips for buyers
Think buying is the right option for you now? Things might be moving fast, but you need to be prepared, measured and organised. There are many things to consider. Some top tips include:
Failing to plan is planning to fail! Give yourself the best chance of a successful property purchase by being organised from the start.
For example, some would-be buyers have had issues securing a mortgage in this climate. Improve your chances by:
- Checking your credit score
- Clearing any unpaid debts
- Avoiding unique or ‘awkward’ properties (e.g. those above a shop)
- Having all documents prepared and ready to go
- Saving as high a deposit as you can
- Paying all bills on time
- Registering to vote
What mortgage options are available to you? We can connect you with expert mortgage advisers who can help you find out. Get a mortgage quote below – it’s free to do and takes seconds!
Don’t be pressured into paying more for a property than it’s worth. Estate agents may try to ramp up the pressure, but it’s important to be aware house prices can fluctuate, which could be a problem if you come to sell and your property is in negative equity.
Tip: if entered into a sealed bid situation, use an odd number!
Don’t cut corners
It can be tempting to want to secure the deal as quickly as possible, particularly if you think you’ve found ‘the one’. However, this could cause problems in the long run.
For example, a survey will reveal any potential problems with a property that could be costly to fix later down the line. It’s recommended you get one after your offer has been accepted.
We can connect you with our panel of local, RICS-qualified surveyors below – for free. Get a survey quote today!
Be prepared for all outcomes
When demand is high you may have multiple buyers competing for the same property. This can in turn lead to an increase in gazumping.
Reduce the risk of this by being responsive, organised and building a good relationship with the seller. But, you should also be prepared for the possibility you may not secure the property – even if your offer has been accepted. The sale isn’t legally binding until exchange!
Get a good solicitor
Don’t underestimate the importance of finding a solicitor – this is key to a smooth transaction. They’ll take on a number of essential tasks, including organising the deposit transfer.
Need help finding a good one? We can connect you with a member of our approved panel – all who work on a ‘no sale, no fee’ basis. Get a conveyancing quote below, for free.
Should you buy a house now?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether to buy a house in the UK right now.
The decision should be based on your personal circumstances, financial goals, and the current state of the housing market. By considering these factors carefully and seeking professional advice where necessary, you can make an informed decision that’s right for you.
Last Updated: March 6th, 2023