As Housing Market Heats Up, Buying Habits Get Extreme

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Separate reports have recently been released which say that the housing market is now moving so quickly, and the property shortage becoming so acute, that homeowners are either extending their properties to avoid moving or being forced to buy before they even see their new purchase.

The UK is currently facing an estimated shortfall of 953,000 homes, and with demand still growing, homeowners are facing stark choices in order to find the right investment, and the amount of space, for their needs.

According to figures released by Lloyds Bank, homeowners in London and the South East are increasingly deciding that it is much easier to avoid moving completely and simply extend their current property when they want to move up the property ladder.

The figures show that 34% of homeowners in the region have already undertaken work to extend their property, and a further 20% are planning to do so within 12 months. That's more than half of the houses in the region being expanded instead of being put on the market, and while an extension may add value, it does little to ease rising prices or the lack of properties available to first time buyers.

At the other end of the spectrum, The Telegraph are reporting that more and more buyers are snapping up properties before they've even seen them, such is the speed at which properties come and go on the market.

Camilla Dell of Black Brick told the paper that 10-15% of her clients will buy a property without a viewing, and Emma Seaton of Savills Wandsworth said that her clients are doing the same in order to cash in on a market that's expected to rise by over 20% in the next three-and-a-half years.

While it might seem like a good idea to make a quick investment, many people will rue their hasty decisions, particularly as buying blind gives no opportunity to assess important factors like home insurance risks, local amenities, build quality and, as one wealthy overseas buyer found out, whether the property overlooks a rubbish tip.

Sources:
1. www.theguardian.com/money/2014/mar/25/shortfall-homes-house-price-inflation  
2. www.itv.com/news/london/update/2014-05-26/homeowners-extending-london-properties-to-avoid-moving/?  
3. www.telegraph.co.uk/property/buyingsellingandmoving/10848824/Would-you-buy-a-house-youd-never-seen.html  

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