It isn’t unusual for more removals to be arranged during the late spring and summer, but apart from this annual pattern of buyers making a fresh start as the flowers come out, and of families moving during the summer holidays, it can be difficult to predict what will happen in the property market during the year ahead.
So far, the beginning of the year has followed the same pattern as the last months of 2014. Property prices rose only slightly over the course of 2014, and this slow growth got even slower during the first month of 2015. However, many homeowners are feeling optimistic about the year ahead. According to a survey conducted by Zoopla, 88% of homeowners expect the value of their property to increase in the next six months. The experts seem to agree that prices will probably rise over the course of the year, with most estimating an increase of between 3 to 5%, according to the BBC.
Anyone who is considering buying a new home in 2015 will have some reasons to be optimistic too. Although property prices remain high relative to earnings, there have been signs since the end of last year that more mortgages are being approved. The market may have adjusted to some of the big changes in mortgage regulations that were put into place earlier in 2014, with approvals in December rising back up to the levels not seen since August. Building societies and smaller mortgage lenders appear to be doing more business, but larger lenders such as HSBC are also offering some tempting deals for anyone planning their removals for 2015. The bank has just launched the lowest recorded fixed interest rate for a two year deal, at just 1.19%. With other lenders also offering some excellent deals, and economists predicting that earnings should grow faster than inflation this year, 2015 could provide more opportunities for buyers to get their mortgages and removals organised. However, many people are still feeling excluded from the market, and buyers and sellers alike will probably remain cautious until the result of the upcoming general election is known. Predicting what will happen in the year ahead becomes even more difficult than usual in an election year.