No one wants to think about tinsel and turkey with summer holidays still on the horizon, but with the latest Rightmove research showing that it now takes 50 days longer to complete a house purchase than in 2019, it pays to get things in order early on if you really want to get that property purchase over the line before Christmas.
SoGlos spoke to Enzo Mora, CEO and founder of The Mortgage Brain in Gloucester, to find out what has changed and how house hunters can get themselves into the best position to complete their property purchase as swiftly as possible, whether moving up or down the property ladder – or onto the first rung.
About the expert – Enzo Mora, founder and director at The Mortgage Brain
With extensive knowledge of the mortgage market, Enzo Mora is passionate about helping customers every step of the way, from searching out the mortgage deal to suit them, to completing the application.
The Mortgage Brain has over 30 years’ experience helping customers find the best rates through its unique Mortgage Search System. Continually updated with the latest offers from the widest range of lenders, brokers can rapidly locate the best deal to suit a client’s circumstances.
For more information, visit themortgagebrain.net.
Why are property purchases taking longer to complete at the moment?
This is due to a conveyancing logjam, so if you want to be in your new home in time for Christmas, you need to get the ball rolling in the next couple of weeks.
Is there anything people can do to help speed the process along?
As we always say, before putting your house on the market or beginning a search for your first home, getting your mortgage sorted in principle will not only mean you know exactly how much you can afford to borrow and therefore how much you can spend, but will also put you in a great position to have an offer accepted, whether you are a first-time buyer or moving up the ladder.
With energy bills and the cost of living going up, what does the property market look like at the moment?
The property market is still hot, with demand outstripping supply. Despite the latest Bank of England interest rate rise pushing the base rate to 1.25 per cent, rates are still historically low, with some lenders absorbing the rate rises for now.
An encouraging recent study from the Building Societies Association (BSA) also revealed that less than one in ten homeowners are concerned about keeping up with their mortgage payments, with around 80 per cent on fixed rates.
No cause for panic yet, then?
Our advice is that borrowers should start planning for when their current mortgage deal ends, as while the impact is likely to be quite modest, any increase in expenditure along with higher energy and food costs will make a difference.
Crucially, we have direct contact with lenders so we know what deals are ending and the new ones replacing them as it happens, so we can advise our customers immediately.
What about first-time buyers who are feeling the pinch?
A survey from King’s College London showed that almost half the UK public (48 per cent) think that young people cannot afford to buy a property because they spend too much on takeaway coffees and food, mobile phones, subscription services like Netflix and holidays abroad.
We help thousands of first-time buyers, many of whom are unaware of the more affordable routes into home ownership, such as Help to Buy, the Mortgage Guarantee scheme and Shared Ownership.
Our advisers have a range of these options at their fingertips to discuss, so while maybe having a few less coffees and takeaways will help with everyday living costs, we can look at the bigger picture when it comes to securing a mortgage.