Buyers Continue to Search for More Space
For both first time buyers and those moving up the property ladder, the search for more space has been the theme of 2020 moving into 2021.
The spike in demand for houses was given a boost by the LBTT holiday earlier this year, with larger savings to be had on larger properties. It was further boosted by the surge in buyer demand for more internal and external space, with the series of lockdowns driving people to reassess their lifestyle and ultimately, their home environment.
At the same time, the trend for working from home has prompted people to leave city centres in favour of more rural locations, which are more likely to consist of houses rather than flats.
The demand for houses has more than doubled since the first lockdown back in March 2020, with family houses the most sought-after property type. In fact, buyers looking for houses has increased by 114% compared to the levels reported between 2017 and 2019.
According to the latest House Price Index from Zoopla, although the demand for all types of houses has doubled in the last year, demand for flats has risen by 34%. The result is that houses have risen in value by 7.3% over the last twelve months whilst the typical flat has risen by 1.4% and the price growth for houses has outstripped flats across all regions of the UK.
First time buyers
If you’re a first-time buyer and looking to buy a flat rather than a house, the good news is that the cost of this type of property has risen more slowly than houses right across the UK over the last year. Here in Scotland the price for this type of property has risen by 5.2%. If you’re considering buying a house, you could face stiff competition but will have an advantage if you have no property to sell and have your mortgage offer in place.
However, if you purchase a new property with a fixed price, you won’t pay an inflated price following an offers-over situation, so this may be a better option.
Remember, there are also ways to make buying your first home easier, including the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme.
If you have a house to sell, you could find that you sell very quickly – especially as selling times in Scotland are the fastest in the UK. What’s more, you’ll have seen its value rise in the last twelve months. However, if you are looking to buy a house, you are likely to face stiff competition from other buyers and again, there are advantages of buying a fixed price new build – not just because of the price, but the speed of purchase, the ease of reserving and the price you see is the price you pay, allowing you to secure your mortgage options without fear of disappointment further down the line.