House prices in England and Wales fell by an average of 13.8% last year. There are conflicting opinions on how the property market will fare as the recession deepens, although it is certain that substantial gains are out of the question. Anyone embarking on the property ladder for the first time or trying to sell their home is in for a bumpy ride.
The 2008 price fall was the biggest drop the market has seen, even outdoing the famous 1932 depression. Some parts of the country fared better than others with Wales only seeing an 8.6% drop, while the South West saw almost double that as a massive 15.6% was cut off the value of their homes.
The practice of taking out equity in the home, or re-mortgaging, has almost come to a halt as lenders become more cautious and homeowners are unsure as to what their property will be worth in a year or two's time. But is this caution justified?
On the one hand the signs that property values will fall further seem strong. They include factors such as:
- a worsening recession
- an increasing number of company bankruptcies and personal insolvencies
- a rise in the jobless figures
- a lack of availability in the mortgage market
- a belief that property was over-priced and still has some way to fall before it achieves realistic values
The other side of the argument points to more positive signals, including:
- a steady rise over the past six months of people wanting to buy
- a bottoming out of the housing market, prompting people to buy now
- a strong message from the Government that lending needs to start again
- low interest rates, making mortgages more affordable
In fact, the situation is so complicated that two of the biggest lenders, Halifax and Nationwide, have declined to predict how the market will perform this year. Likewise, the Council of Mortgage Lenders is not putting forward an opinion, arguing that there are too many unknowns to make an accurate forecast. The most pessimistic commentators see prices falling continually through 2010, 2011 and even into 2012, but many others think that the economy as a whole will start to come out of recession during 2010 and therefore don't agree with such a gloomy outlook.
People who need to move house are in an awkward situation. How much is their property worth? Is that figure going down or is it stable? What's the likelihood of finding a buyer, and will that buyer be able see the deal through to its conclusion?
There are so many unknowns in property sales even when the market is buoyant. It is good to know that there is a way of selling your property regardless of the state of the market, and that is through Property Rescue. They promise to give you a valuation for your home which, if you accept it, will lead to a guaranteed sale.
For information on how to sell your home fast, contact Property Rescue.