Property expert warns buyers to hold off buying a house until October – here’s why

Can't wait to become a home owner? A chartered surveyor explains why it's best to wait until the stamp duty holiday is over
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  • If your goal is to buy a house this year, you probably can’t wait to get the process going – after all, the home buying process takes many months. However, according to Ross Counsell, chartered surveyor and director at  GoodMove, there are compelling reasons why you should hold off buying a property until the stamp duty holiday is finally over in October. Here’s why.

    Buying or selling a house? You’ll find all the information you need in our property advice section.

    House prices are still showing record growth – but there are signs of slowing down

    house exteriro and front garden with wisteria

    Image credit: Jody Stewart

    Above all, there’s the pressing issue of the skyrocketing house prices that are still showing record-breaking growth across the UK. According to the latest statistic from ONS, average house prices in the UK have yet again increased by 8.9 per cent, and now stand at an average price of a whopping £265,000.’ The figures speak for themselves, says Ross: ‘After a year of staggering prices, the continual increase of housing prices isn’t surprising at this point, but demonstrates an ongoing difficult period for anyone looking to buy a property in the UK.’

    Having said this, there are some early signs that things are beginning to turn – but it will take many months for house prices to start coming down. Ross commented: ‘although an increase of 8.9 per cent is still high, in March this was 9.9 per cent – so the decline in monthly growth rate last month holds optimism that house prices may begin to decline over the next six months. What’s more, the stamp duty holiday deadline comes into force at the end of June, with a staggered return to previous rates until September, so this can foresee a decline in house prices towards the end of the year.’

    You may have better luck buying in London – for once

    Image credit: Future

    There is one area of the country where you may well choose not to wait and buy now – London. Ross explains that ‘the stats also showed that for the fifth consecutive month, London continues to be the region with the lowest annual growth at 3.3 per cent, whilst the North East accelerates with an annual growth of 16.9 per cent. These statistics are very telling of a seismic shift in buyer behaviour to move away from big cities up to northern areas where house prices and the cost of living are, on average, significantly cheaper. However, for anyone looking to buy a property, it might just be a good time to invest in the Capital.’

    Related: Homebuyers will lose out this year despite stamp duty holiday

    view to kitchen extension

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Fiona Walker-Arnott

    Ultimately, though, if you can wait or five-six month, you’ll; reap the benefits of a property market that’ll be more in their favour. However, Ross does point out that you’ll need to move quickly once it gets to October, because many people will have been holding off buying a house : ‘For anyone looking to buy a property in the UK, I would advise them to hold off until October – once the Stamp Duty Holiday has finally come to an end. Prospective buyers should look to be prepared, know exactly what they want in a property, and be ready to act fast.’

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