February 2022 Market Update

Interest rates have increased again for the second time in quick succession. In good news for tenants, the government has announced new reforms to protect renters. Read on for all this and more.

What can sellers entering the market in March 2022 expect?

With all COVID-19 restrictions being lifted by the end of March (if not sooner), and spring just around the corner – which is traditionally a hot time of year for the property market – here are some of our predictions for what to expect next month…

House price growth set to slow

After a strong start to the year, house prices are forecast to stabilise over the coming months.

The UK’s biggest building society, Nationwide, reported a sixth consecutive monthly increase in January, with prices rising 0.8% on the previous month and 11.2% annually.

Competitor Halifax also announced increases of 0.3% from the previous month and 9.7% annually.

However, despite these consistent increases over the past 12 months, both lenders have predicted a cooling of the housing market in 2022, with the cost of living increases and limited supplies of new housing stock coming onto the market being cited as major factors.

First-Time Buyer News

Affordability issues reach record highs

One of the UK’s biggest lenders, Nationwide, has announced some startling figures which affect first-time buyers’ affordability.

While it’s widely known that house price growth has outgrown wage growth, the building society has laid bare just how much price increases have outpaced wages since the pandemic began.

Their figures reveal that a 10% deposit on a first home is now equivalent to 56% of total gross annual earnings, which is a new record high.

Buy-to-Let News

Section 21 to be abolished

In a move that will protect renters, the Government has announced plans to abolish Section 21, which allows landlords to evict tenants without any reason.

The plans are part of the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper, which is aiming to help poorer communities become more prosperous.

Other changes that are planned include ensuring that privately rented properties meet minimum standards, and the introduction of a landlords register, with an aim to crack down on rogue landlords.

Latest news for Landlords

Almost 1/3 of tenants admit to keeping hidden pets!

A recent survey has found that 27% of tenants have admitted to hiding pets from oblivious landlords for more than three years.

The most commonly hidden pets are birds and rabbits, while somewhat surprisingly, horses are in third place! We’re not sure entirely how you hide a horse – suggestions on a postcard, please!

The number one way to avoid landlords discovering pets during an inspection was to take them out for a walk, which was followed closely by asking friends to look after them, and then asking a neighbour to keep hold of them during inspections.

The study also revealed that the most pet-friendly landlords are in Norwich, with the least friendly being in Edinburgh.

Mortgage News

Interest rate increase for the second time in three months

The Bank of England has announced an increase in its base interest rate from 0.25% to 0.5% – the second increase in just three months.

The increase will mean a rise in monthly mortgage repayments for around two million homeowners with variable-rate mortgages and will add around £24 per month to a £200,000 mortgage.

The rise comes hot on the heels of Ofgem’s announcement that energy bills will increase by 54% this year, as millions of households face a squeeze on the cost of living.

And Finally…

A home with a rather unusual feature in the front garden made headlines on social media recently.

The 2-bedroom bungalow in leafy Nursling, Hampshire, has a spacious back garden with views across lush green fields, but it’s the enormous telephone pylon in the front garden that really caused it to go viral.

You can check it out here, but hurry – the property’s already sold, subject to contract.

Chartsedge are your local property experts. Call us on 01803 505115 or email info@chartsedge.co.uk to find out how we can help you buy a new home or sell your property.