Help To Buy: The start of the next bubble?

Who’d be in charge of a country’s economic recovery eh?! Whilst earning reasonable sums in his current job as Chancellor, and doubtless a semi-retirement full of after-dinner engagements, lucrative worldwide speaking tours and the odd set of memoirs further down the line, George Osborne has been faced with a dilemma – whether to push the button on phase two of the Help To Buy scheme or not. Like a cold-war general pushing the big red missile launch button, Mr Osborne has gone ahead and passed the point of no return…and all during the political conference season! The reaction from housing market commentators (and aren’t there so many of them too..?!) has been mixed, with many pondering whether it will cause the next housing bubble, and saying that it does not address the low levels of supply that are particularly prevalent in London and the south east.

From a Guildford perspective, we do agree that phase 2 could have waited until next year. Our problem is certainly not a lack of buyers – the last five houses we have arranged sales on all had multiple offers – it’s the lack of stock. An almost complete lack of stock! Sellers looking to re-buy locally seem to be sitting on their hands, not putting their house on to the market, thinking that it will sell like lightening and waiting until they’ve found a suitable new home to buy. The trouble is, the last five houses that we’ve sold all went to buyers in rented accommodation – the poor devils with a house to sell just didn’t get a look-in!

The solution is simple – take the plunge. If everyone who wanted to move stopped sitting on those hands and put their houses on the market, normal trading conditions would quickly return and the increase in supply would ensure that prices do not rocket up, but stay at more affordable levels. The other option would be to drop the ludicrously high stamp duty tax that buyers pay…..but I’ll save that rant for another blog post!

If you are thinking of moving, or require any property advice, contact me on 01483 405222, or (ideally before 6pm please!)

Chris Dean,

Featured Property

Woodlands Park, Guildford, Surrey

4 bedroom

Guide price £1,250,000

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Price Reductions are a current market reality...

Like many buyers, I log onto Rightmove each morning to find out what’s happened in Guildford’s ever-changing property market over the last 24 hours: which houses have gone under offer and what new instructions have been added. However, as we edge into autumn, we’re seeing a significant rise in the number of properties marked Reduced Today and this is something we need to address. While this isn’t a new phenomenon - even in a busy market there’s always been a smattering of them - the post-Brexit landscape means they are now outweighing new instructions marked Added Today on a daily basis.

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