Last year estate agents and other UK property professionals were predicting a slow down in the property market. Since April of this year property prices have plummeted and many home owners now find that their property has gone into negative equity i.e. when the amount of money still owed on a property exceeds that property`s market value.
Over the twenty years prior to April 2008 UK property prices for the average home rose by some 400%. Average homes costing £200,000 in 2007 were selling for £50,000 in 1987. By the end of last year the number of people in the UK who owned their own homes had dropped by 84,000. Prices rose so steeply that pundits were warning that the housing boom could not carry on and they were right.
One of the problems with the spiralling prices of UK homes meant that many people found that they could no longer keep up with their mortgage payments. One of the problems was that the spiralling cost of property was not matched by a corresponding salary rise. People who may have lived in a property for twenty years were having their homes repossessed because they could not keep up with the increased mortgage payments
The collapse of global financial markets, which has led to the present credit crunch has brought the price of many UK homes crashing down. At the same time the practical disappearance of hundred percent mortgages and higher deposits means that fewer young people are able to get their foot on the housing ladder. However, in cases where people have managed to save a deposit, they are now able fo find properties at a far lower price than they were last year.
At the moment, property market statistics are not pleasant. Not only is it harder for first time buyers to buy a property, it is getting tougher for existing home owners to sell their property. According to the organisation Hometrack, houses are no longer easy to sell, they are staying on the market much longer, some for months, although the average time is now ten and a half weeks. At the same time getting an offer on your property is no guarantee that the sale will go through, and around forty percent of offers do not end up in a sale.
The prospects may look grim, but there are properties that are going against the trend and selling quickly, in some area home owners are selling for the asking price and house prices are still rising a little. Home insurers Legal and General have said that this is due to a number of things. Your house should be in a good condition, in the current market home owners need to be realistic about the price they are asking if they expect to sell, before there is a further drop in prices. Houses that are located in a central area or close to very good state schools will continue to sell as they are still in demand.
If you really want to sell your home have the outside looking as fresh and tidy as you can and make sure the garden is neat. Kitchens can make or break a sale, a fresh coat of paint and neat and tidy sides are always better received than scruffy walls and a sink full of washing up. Estate agents are of the opinion that small details like this can affect the price of your home insurance and make the difference between a sale and a home that remains on the market.
Tags:property sales, negative equity, property market, homes, mortgage payments, financial markets, property, home insurers, house, home owners, estate agents, hometrack, repossessed