Homes and Property for Sale

publication date: Oct 28, 2011
 | 
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
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Homes and Property for Sale


Property Market in the UK v's Heights of 2007


Whatever is happening statistically month on month and year on year, it's important to be aware we are still a long way away from a housing market recovery versus the heights of 2007, apart from some areas in London. Prices remain at least 10% down versus pre credit crunch levels. More importantly the number of people moving is not increasing at all. In fact we are selling up to 60% less homes than pre credit crunch. Building of new homes also remains devastatingly low at just 100,000 homes a year when experts suggest that to accommodate newly formed households, we should be building over 250,000 homes.

The lack of moves and new home building means less money being spent in the economy and less invested in houses which are desperately needed for our growing population and household growth.

On a more positive note the private rental market is having a marked difference in this property recession versus 1990s. Many headlines suggest (unfairly in my view) that buy to let landlords are crowding out first time buyers. However, the reality is good buy to let landlords provide a real alternative to buying.

If you are a first time buyer, why would you purchase a property when you can typically rent what you want where you want? If something goes wrong such as the boiler or shower, someone else takes the brunt of sorting the problem out and paying for it! Not only is there little motivation for people to buy, due to increased legislation over the last 10 years, many rental properties are at a high standard versus homes owned (think of the huge number of new build city centre flats bought by investors).  In today's market you can buy a house which is a death trap, if you rent a home which is a death trap, as a landlord you are likely to be prosecuted and end up in jail!

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