Why 2017 is the year to sell your house

If you’ve been sitting on the fence about selling your house for a while now, this year might be the perfect time to finally make the decision to go for it. There are a number of reasons why potential sellers, and buyers, should be considering the opportunity before certain aspects of the housing market change.

Mortgage rates are still low

Since mid-October last year, rates have been steady at just over 4% for a 30-year fixed mortgage. This is good news for both buyers and sellers. Such low rates won’t last forever, though, and being this consistent for a while now means that it may be due to change. Danielle Hale, the managing director of housing research for the National Association of Realtors, explains that mortgage rates should hold at 4% or continue to adjust upward. “Mortgage rates rarely move in a straight line. They could be in the 4.6% to 4.8% range by the end of the year”, Hale claims.

Inventory is decreasing

Data has recently shown that the number of existing houses up for sale has decreased by more than 9% per year. This is partially due to the lack of new houses being built, with only 152,440 new houses in the UK at the end of the 2015 financial year, a 40% fall from 251,820 built in 1980. Both the introduction of stamp duty and the result of the EU referendum last year have significantly influenced the housing market, and these are factors that are expected to continue to impact on the lack of available properties in 2017. 

House prices are continuing to rise

Naturally, a lower inventory of housing means greater demand and that those that are on the market are up at some astounding prices. In November 2016, the average house price in the UK stood at £217, 928 compared to £200, 395 in the same month of 2010.  In December 2016, estate agents were not so optimistic about the months that were due to follow thanks to slow house sales in that time. 1% of housing surveyors reported a fall throughout December which ended a steady flow of rises that began in August. Central London was the only area that saw house prices fell and the North West showed the highest rise.

The job market is improving

Despite the recent outcome of the EU referendum, the UK’s job market is set to see a boost this year with 41% of companies set to hire new staff. The outcome of a poll of 353 businesses of varying sizes found that they are due to employ 1.2 million people, primarily in sectors of science, IT and construction.

"Sellers have been in the driver's seat for the last two years, but this year is shaping up to be even better for several reasons," states Jonathan Smoke, the chief economist of realtor.com. These factors may convince a lot of homeowners to take the plunge when it comes to selling up. If you’re one of those people, what are you waiting for?

Tim Jackson