Let’s be completely honest - as challenges go, estate agents are up against it trying to persuade reluctant vendors to take the plunge this autumn.
Of course, there are always those people that have to move, but what are the incentives for discretionary sellers in the light of 10 per cent inflation, a cost-of-living crisis, mayhem in the city, mortgage rates rising, a European war and political uncertainty all around at home?
Yet surprisingly, there really are some reasons why selling and buying right now makes sense.
Firstly, not every potential buyer has a mortgage or needs one in future.
Government figures show 36 per cent of homes are owned outright without a mortgage while three quarters of the remainder are on fixed interest mortgages so - for the moment at least - they won’t feel the most severe pain from Bank of England rate rises. And official data shows 45 per cent of landlords also have no mortgage at all. So, all these prospective buyers are good to go, despite the adverse economic conditions.
Secondly, and the other side of the same coin, buyer appetite remains strong with few pulling out of deals.
It’s been reported that the volume of sales agreed four days after the Chancellor’s controversial mini-Budget was the highest number in one day since early August. And looking at September as a whole, fall-throughs were firmly in line with long-term rates for that month.
Thirdly - and even after the past couple of weeks - there’s also some reassuring news that agents can pass on about future mortgage availability.
According to the Bank of England, some 74,300 mortgage approvals were recorded in August, up by 16 per cent from 63,700 the previous month. This was the highest level since January and reflects people securing loans ahead of mortgage rates rises.
UK Finance - the umbrella body representing lenders - says the vast majority of those mortgage products withdrawn from the market in that difficult week in late September will return, albeit repriced for this period of higher interest rates.
No one’s denying the problem of rising interest rates but figures like those from the Bank show there are canny buyers ‘doing the right thing’ to safeguard finances and allow them to continue with house purchases. That should reassure reluctant sellers that they can, with confidence, come to the market.
If you would like some advice on your next steps contact me on 01209 711118 or 07968641892, I'll be happy to talk things through.