For house buyers, every penny counts as household bills, tax increases, and rising interest rates spell another tricky year for wannabe movers. The Halifax House Price Index has today revealed that property prices rose by 9.8 percent in 2021 in a booming year for the market.
It is the biggest annual rise since 2004, when prices rose by 12.5 percent.
In cash terms, house prices rose by an average of £24,000, the biggest year-on-year increase since 2007.
The surge in prices was caused by historically low mortgage rates, the stamp duty holiday, behavioural changes, and a shortage of housing.
But the brakes are being put on the fast-paced rise already, with 2022 looking less buoyant.
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Property experts believe the market will drop off as the year goes on, providing some much-needed respite for buyers.
But a specific period for when buyers should strike isn’t easy to predict – but most experts advise waiting until later in the year before putting in offers.
Lewis Shaw, founder of Mansfield-based Shaw Financial Services, told Express.co.uk that first-time buyers should wait and see what happens in the market before committing to a property.
He said: “Prices aren’t going to collapse but they’re definitely going to come down in 2022, so some first-time buyers may want to wait a few months to see what happens.
He advised: “People should buy when they’re ready to and committed to the purchase.
“If you’re planning to keep the property for a number of years, the vagaries of house prices are less relevant. If you want to buy, and have the funds in place, then buy.”
He advised waiting for a fall may not be as lucrative as buyers would hope, as ongoing supply issues will keep prices high.
He continued: “Though prices are likely to come down slightly in 2022, the lack of stock means any fall will only be marginal.
“It’s hard to see a dramatic U-turn into a buyer’s market awash with stock so if you see the right home for you, go for it.”
But Paul Neal of Derbyshire-based broker, Missing Element Mortgage Services, told Express.co.uk the huge shortage of homes means prospective buyers should strike while the iron is hot.
He said: “In the current market, with the insane lack of supply, the right time to buy is when you find the right property. It’s that simple.
Mr Neal said prices were certainly likely to “cool” in 2022, there will be no significant drop – so prices between the beginning and end of the year are unlikely to be far apart.