Is it a good time to buy a property?
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Decreasing house prices in 2023 and new mortgage rates present a favorable scenario for prospective homeowners eager to secure a new residence at a lower cost. But with borrowing costs still historically high and the possibility of lower house prices down the line, is now a good time to buy or should you wait?
For those contemplating a home purchase in the near future, the recent downtrend in the property market may appear enticing. Nonetheless, with certain analysts projecting continued declines in both housing prices and mortgage rates well into 2024, many individuals are unsure if it's the best time to buy right now, or do they just be patient.
Although, most seem to have a fairly pessimistic outlook for the housing market, Nationwide think otherwise, with recent monthly numbers showing house prices improved to their strongest rate in the last year, up by 0.7% in January on the previous month – a significant turnaround from the December figures, which showed a 1.8% decline in prices.
The average UK house price was £257,656 in January and was down 0.2% on a year earlier. This had been driven by “encouraging signs” for buyers with mortgage rates continuing to trend down.
This also follows a shift in view among investors around the future path of interest rates, with investors becoming more optimistic that the Bank of England will lower rates in the years ahead.
Despite this encouragement here from Nationwide, the Bank of England is expected to keep its rate unchanged at 5.25% when it updates the market on Thursday. The US Federal Reserve is also expected to maintain its rate at between 5.25% and 5.5%, when it publishes an update on Wednesday night.
So, what do buyers do next?
Timing the market is a pretty tough job to get the most of a situation but ultimately, if you’ve built up the capital and you find a property in an area you’re happy to live in for many years, the time could be right for you.
The advantage of living in a home that you’ve chosen and can change to meet your own needs can dwarf the benefits of waiting to see what happens in the market in the hope of saving an unknown amount of money.