Shared Ownership and the UK housing market never ceases to amaze. When you expect it to do one thing, it does another.
The story so far
In the weeks preceding the national lockdown on 23rd March 2020, open market house sale transactions started to slow. This was due to the impending arrival of Covid-19 and the uncertain future that was about to rock the world.
From the start of lockdown to the middle of May, Estate Agents up and down the country closed. With an estimated 450,000 buyers, sellers, and renters putting their plans on hold. Savills Estate Agents were predicting that house prices could drop by as much a 10%. It was all very bleak.
Meanwhile, at Havebury, we did not experience any of the doom and gloom that was being predicted and amplified by the media. We commenced marketing various sites during lockdown, and our houses sold rapidly. We were receiving applications from buyers who had not had an opportunity to view thanks to the restrictions in place across the country.
This confidence in Shared Ownership has continued. The homes we recently released in Moreton Hall received applications within days of the open event. And our upcoming properties in Stowmarket have garnered a lot of interest, with a high number of viewings already booked in for the open day.
What are the factors that have driven this buoyancy?
During lockdown, people had time on their hands and were able to reassess their priorities and future for example;
A first-time buyer living at home with their parents may realise that they need their own space, sooner rather than later, after being stuck indoors for months.
A young family may have decided that they need more living space.
Or someone living in an apartment may have thought that they need an outside area.
Or perhaps they were living in a rented property close to their work in a large town or city. They soon realised that after working from home, they no longer need to be so close to the office. This then meant they decided they can move further out where property is considerably more affordable.
Purchasing a home in the traditional open market manner is still in many cases prohibitively expensive. The average price of houses sold over the last year in East Anglia was £337,418. A minimum deposit of 5% equates to £16,870. This is a hurdle which for many is too difficult to leap.
With Shared Ownership, based on a 40% share and 5% deposit, a buyer would be looking at a significantly lower figure of £6,748.
Shared Ownership will continue to be a popular way of purchasing a house in any market conditions. In a bad market, private rents often tend to increase.
By buying a house via Shared Ownership it maybe more affordable and you would own your home. In a strong market, house prices go up, becoming even more prohibitive. Again, Shared Ownership provides a viable and affordable alternative.
The housing market now
House prices rose by 5% in September, compared to a year ago. This shows that the housing market is stronger than we always think. According to Nationwide, in September, prices were up 0.9% in August.
The doom and gloom in the Spring has, so far, failed to materialise. Transactions may have dropped, but prices have continued to rise. This goes to further highlight that the need for affordable housing is more important now than it ever has been before.
For more information on Shared Ownership and our upcoming opportunities, contact us on 01284 722055 or email email@example.com