Comment: Worrying about the housing market? You’re not alone
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These remain tough times for the housing market. Viewings can’t happen, mortgage deals are being axed and buyers and sellers are stuck in limbo.
But while one minute we’re reading that a crash is imminent, the next we’re being told not to worry, because prices are going to shoot up over the next decade.
Indeed, according to projections released last week, the average home in St Albans is expected to be worth in excess of £900,000 by 2030.
Sounds optimistic? Kind of, especially when the estimate is based on growth continuing at the same pace as in the previous 10 years (back when there were no global pandemics messing things up).
A new report by think tank Cebr predicts a 13 per cent dip in house prices nationally this year and an 11 per cent fall in the South East.
Cebr said the rental sector will drive the crash, as pay cuts and unemployment knock on to the amounts tenants can afford. Similarly, some cash-strapped buyers will no longer have the funds to make their move.
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Unsure which to believe? Well, there’s probably a bit of truth in both. The current situation is unprecedented and the short term results will depend on many variables – mainly the state we’re in economically when social distancing measures are eased.
Many experts remain hopeful that the anticipated falls will quickly level out and begin to increase again once the crisis is over.
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But in the very short term, we’re all at a loss - particularly those of us that are trying to buy.
Our offer was accepted in February, and our sale was trundling along OK when the country was put into lockdown.
But when we tried to chase things up with the agent last week, we found the whole office had been furloughed.
Our solicitor is carrying on with searches and says we could potentially be ready to exchange as soon as lockdown’s lifted - if only any of us had a clue when that might be.