General Election, what next?

Peter Illingworth of Peter Illingworth Estate Agents writes: The announcement of the General Election really took the wind out of our sales.  The market was recovering, however the shadow of The General Election cast uncertainty and that is one thing markets do not like.  We will all be pleased to see the Election out the way and start to settle down to our new future wherever it might lead.  One thing is for sure we all need to live somewhere (rent or buy) and none of us know if we are picking the right time in the market to move.  However, property is a long term investment and has proved over time to be a wonderful investment, hence the phrase ‘safe as houses’.  As we look back over this period some may reflect that they should have agreed to buy during this period as an outlier.  The country is crowded and short of homes and land cannot be manufactured which leads to house price rises.  The principal dwelling house continues to be a tax free haven against capital gains tax and should this continue there is no reason not to believe the prices will not keep pace with inflation or even outperform it.

Ryedale continues to be a popular place to live, the life style may be slower and not suit everyone, but that can be a blessing to those who love the area.  Schooling is generally good, the area is safe with a great sense of community and belonging, it is an area of outstanding natural beauty with the North York Moors and the Howardian Hills on the doorstep, ideal for travelling to the coast and the city of York.  Home to the North York Moors Railway and to various country houses such as Castle Howard and Duncombe Park, also of historic interest and even a theme park, Flamingo Land. Hospitals local to Ryedale include Malton, York and Scarborough.

Good quality town and country properties in good locations continue to be in short supply, more and more buyers are demanding en-suite bathrooms, cloakrooms, utility rooms, car standing areas, including garaging.  Central heating, double glazing and good insulation is almost a must. Green energy and electric charging points are a bonus.  Buyers are becoming very particular about the standard of decoration and condition of properties, as many now are time short and realise there are trade labour shortages. It is not unusual now for home owners to wait two years for contractors to start, which in many cases is not appropriate.

It may pay to spend that little bit more on a home that is in good order and has all those extras, unless you are prepared and capable to do much of the work yourself.

What of the future?  It looks like we can expect interest rates to fall, but we have learnt that rash decisions made by government can put matters into reverse very quickly.  We are still in uncertain times.  Inflation can have long term benefits to borrowers, however the initial outlay to borrowers of money via mortgage can be very painful in the short term, but with wage rises and within two or three years the pain is reduced as income to mortgage eases.  I do remember being a student of a valuation lecturer advising us to borrow as much we could on the purchase of our homes and over time that has proved to be very wise advice, interest rates were high then.

Very rarely do purchasers buy the perfect home it is a compromise and is driven by circumstances, ranging from job relocations, births, deaths, marriages and divorce. If you spot the right property don’t hang about, you may find you have inadvertently created competition for the house of your dreams, as everyday that goes past the seller is nearer to finding another buyer.  Once it sells you may find you have to wait for years and years for it to come back onto the market, if ever.

If you are renting and want to buy, every day that goes by you are losing your money in rent and not investing it in yourself. If you are settled where you live and you have not considered buying perhaps this is the ideal time.

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