Is now a good time to buy or sell a home?

publication date: Jun 25, 2012
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

Is now a good time to buy or sell a home?

If you are buying and selling a home, the ideal market is really one which is falling for a short period of time. This means you may sell the property you own for less, but you should save more on the one you purchase, so you benefit financially. For the full market update, visit the Designs on Property website.

Typically though, for anyone buying or selling, it doesn't really matter too much what's happening market wise. When prices are going up, it's easier to sell your property and although you may have to pay out more for the larger property you are buying, you still get to move and over the long term, will benefit as prices rise. 

If prices are falling you also do well as you sell your property for 10% less than it was previously worth, for example a £150,000 home sells now for £135,000. If the one you buy is 10% less though, say £300,000, you can pick it up for £270,000 ie a £30,000 saving. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work that the property you are selling and the one you are buying are both moving in the same direction price wise, so it's vital to understand the individual markets for the property you are selling. 

To decide whether now is a good time to buy and sell you should ask yourself:- 

  • How many similar properties are for sale?
  • What percentage of properties are sold versus for sale?
  • How long will it take to sell your property?
  • What do buyers of your property want - a wreck or a show home?

Once you have a good idea on the answers for your own property, you can then find out the same information for the type of property you want to buy. For help with assessing your local market, read How to check out the local property market and What to ask the agents to better understand the local market.

What's important to make sure when trading up to a larger property in a falling/stable market is:- 

  • Don't financially overstretch yourself
  • Have a deposit of at least 10% and ideally 25%
  • Understand the increased costs of running and maintaining your new home
  • Make sure you can afford the property when interest rates return to 5%
  • Understand how much 0.5% increases in mortgage rates will affect your mortgage payments

For more help and advice on whether now is a good time to trade in your old home for a new one, and to secure help, consider using our unique Selling a Property Service which includes an A4 ‘how to' guide, containing Dos and Don'ts, Factsheets, Checklists, Hand Tips and Forms, PLUS access to Kate and her team, by phone and email, for any queries you might have- all for just £19.99!


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  • An A4 ‘how to’ guide (approx 80 pages), containing Dos and Don’ts, Factsheets, Checklists, Handy Tips and Forms
  • Access to Kate and her team, by phone and email, for any queries you might have during your project.

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