House prices climbed during 2021, but have they reached their peak? Well, it’s hard to say for sure, but let’s consider what might happen with house prices during the rest of the year.
What’s happening with house prices?
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, house prices rose by roughly 10% this year. Why? Well, there are a few reasons for the surge, but mainly, we can link the rise in house prices to three factors:
- Change in demand: The Covid-19 lockdowns caused a spike in demand for houses with garden space so more of us could enjoy the outdoors.
- Stamp duty holiday: Although the stamp duty holiday ended in England on 30 June, it encouraged a flurry of activity in the housing market.
- Low interest rates: When interest rates are low, like we’re seeing now, it can be cheaper to get a mortgage, which encourages more prospective buyers to look for a new home. The result? Higher demand means higher house prices.
Where are prices now, then? As it stands, they’re at a record high.
Will house prices fall in 2021?
Maybe, but since prices are still rising, it’s unlikely we’ll see much of a drop within the next few weeks or even months.
- The interest rate is holding steady, which means we could continue to see high numbers of buyers in the marketplace.
- Although the stamp duty holiday ended, buyers can still take advantage of reduced rates until 30 September.
- There’s a shortage of houses available right now, which means there’s more competition for properties. In a ‘seller’s market’, house prices typically stay high.
- Government schemes like Help to Buy are encouraging more first-time buyers to look for a new home.
Finally, we’re still in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. As people continue to work from home, and lifestyles change, we could see the demand for new properties with garden space hold steady. And as we emerge from lockdown, we could now see increased buyer confidence in the marketplace more generally, which encourages property sales.
Should you buy a house in 2021?
Well, there’s no clear answer to this question, because it’s a purely personal decision.
Before buying a new property, you should consider many factors, including whether you can afford a deposit and the required mortgage payments. So, your decision shouldn’t be solely guided by house prices – you should carefully weigh up all pros and cons before you commit to any house move.
If you’re wondering whether to buy a house this year, consider getting some financial advice first. You could also try our mortgage calculator to help you decide how much you can afford.
What can we expect from house prices in 2021? There’s a chance they’ll fall slightly, but it’s unlikely we’ll see a rapid decline within the next few months, especially if there’s still a shortage of houses on the market.
If you’re a prospective buyer, just remember you shouldn’t rush any decision to move house. It’s always best to shop around for the best possible mortgage deal. For sellers, again – don’t rush just to capitalise on market conditions. Think about whether moving right now is, financially, the best option for you first.
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