When it comes to the Gillingham property market in 2021 and the UK in general; words like crazy and frantic spring to mind. It was a year where the number of properties on the market was low and yet demand was overwhelming at times. Where house prices reached record highs at times; and many buyers were left out in cold and even struggling to get viewings. As we are heading to the end of the first month of the year, what is it like out there for buyers? What should you expect if you are looking to buy a home in Gillingham in 2022?
What has been happening
Competition for homes from buyers was fierce at the end of last year; which has been confirmed by data from Propertymark (the leading membership body for property agents). “Our Housing Market Report for November revealed an average of 29 potential buyers for every available property per branch – a 21% increase in competition from October, however, despite a rise in the average number of potential buyers, a record low supply of properties was recorded, with an average of just 20 homes per branch – 50% less than in November 2020,” stated Nathan Emerson, CEO at Propertymark.
With the end of the stamp duty holiday last year, it was predicted that things may settle down this year; but this has not been the case. According to recent data from Rightmove; the number of buyers enquiring about homes is 15% higher than the same time last year. Yet, before you start to panic and wonder if you are going to face the same challenges finding a home as last year; there may be some light on the way for your search. Rightmove figures show that the number of requests for home valuations during the first working week of 2022 was up by 44% on the same time last year, and up by 48% on the same period in 2020.
What this means is that we should start to see more homes coming on to the market; giving you more choice as a buyer. At Century Residential, we are seeing an increase in the number of enquiries by potential home sellers, who, due to a steadier return to normality, have increasing confidence about making that move which they have been considering for a while. There will still be competition for properties; and there are things you can do to make sure you are in the best position should you find that home of your dreams.
What you can do?
Buying power is what you need if you’re looking for a home in the next couple of months; and that can start with thoroughly understanding your financial situation. Playing the guessing game on presumptions and out-of-date agreements; is going to place you on rocky ground before you have even begun your property search. You also don’t want to fall in love with a property; and start to plan where you will put your furniture, only to discover that you can’t afford it. Do a full financial audit, make sure your credit rating is in a healthy place; and then seek professional advice from a mortgage adviser; if you unsure who to ask, we can certainly recommend a mortgage broker who has helped many of our clients.
We all have a vision of what our next home will look like; but what you think you want and what you actually need can often be very different. Sticking to an ideal and not being willing to be open to ideas; or being able to compromise will make your search virtually impossible. Often it can be those properties that you had discounted for one reason or another; that end up being the ones that steal your heart.
If you are selling a home as well as buying; in this market it is essential that you find a buyer for your property first, before you start to search for your new home. You don’t know the position of other potential buyers; and having a buyer for your property will place you in a strong buying position. Additionally your offer will be considered stronger as a result.
You are not on your own
Many buyers underestimate the value an estate agent can bring to their search. Give our team a call today and let them know exactly what you want and need from your next property. You never know, the next home we are called to value could just be that one you are looking for. For more advice on the Gillingham property market, and how to navigate it as a buyer, give our team a call today on 01634 570057.
Content contributed by The Federation of Independent Agents.