Birmingham Housing Market: Is it a Good Time to Buy a House?

Birmingham Housing Market

In the current Birmingham housing market, Is now a good time to buy a house? Is now a bad time to buy a house in the UK? Should I wait? These are all questions that thousands of people across the country will be asking, mainly due to how tumultuous the UK property market has become over the last four years – not to mention the volatility of our economy thanks to uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit. Despite these challenges, however, there are signs of a downturn in property prices on the horizon, essentially making buying a new home more affordable.

This blog will help to illuminate the path for you, hopefully providing some much-needed clarity on whether or not now is a good time to take that leap of faith and buy a house in the UK.

House Prices

For several years, housing prices across the UK have been rapidly rising. Throughout 2021, there was a double-digit annual growth in house prices, supported by significantly low mortgage rates. According to the office for national statistics (ONS), average UK house prices increased by 10.3% in the year to November 2022, down from 12.4% in October 2022. The market has generally been very unstable, and this wasn’t helped by the announcement of the government’s mini budget on 23rd September 2022, which saw a surge in the mortgage market, before leading to a sharp increase in mortgage interest rates.

Today, the housing market (including the Birmingham housing market) still holds momentum and we’ve seen prices steadily climb over the past year. However, there is good news for budding buyers. This year, the rate of property growth is starting to stall and, in some cases, fall. This can be attributed to several factors, including cost-of-living increases and rising mortgage rates. We don’t want to get your hopes up too much, but UK house prices fell by 1.5% in December 2022, according to Halifax – Britain’s biggest mortgage lender.

It’s important to note that this isn’t the case across the board, but we are seeing a lot of predictions that prices may fall further still. Though nothing is ever certain. At Emma’s Properties, we can help to take the stress away by providing bespoke, expert advice on your situation and helping you to answer that million-dollar question, ‘is now a good time to buy a house?’.

Will House Prices Go Down In 2023?

Should I buy a house in the UK now or wait? Well, it’s not all doom and gloom, there is some evidence and hope that may perk up the ears of potential homeowners in 2023. For example, Zoopla predicts that house prices will likely fall by 5% this year. Furthermore, an increase in interest rates – from deep lows in 2021 – caused a reduction in overall demand within the UK housing market (including within the Birmingham housing market), owing to mortgages becoming more expensive. Bolstered by a cost-of-living crisis that has seen inflation rise by over 10%, many people are struggling to save enough to buy and property prices will need to come down. If you’re thinking of climbing onto the property ladder, 2023 may be the year where the landscape turns in your favour.

Changes to Stamp Duty

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax paid upon the purchase of a property or piece of land in the UK worth over a certain value. The amount paid is based on the value of the property as a percentage of the purchase price. In 2020, a temporary stamp-duty holiday was introduced. This is significant, as it offered buyers large savings on their tax bill when purchasing – sometimes up to £15,000 – inevitably leading to a surge in buyers. From October 2021, the holiday ended and stamp duty reverted to pre-holiday rates.

Very recently, however, this was changed again, as Chancellor Jeremy Hunt opted to temporarily keep in place the cuts that had been put forward by the prior short-lived government. We want to emphasise that the cuts are temporary and they will be phased out from March 2025. The stamp-duty cuts may help to incentivise some buyers up until that point, but it may not be enough to combat volatile interest rates and provide definitive answers to your questions on whether you should buy a house now during the current Birmingham housing market. All these changes can be little bit overwhelming, but you can trust Emma’s Properties to provide you with the right guidance.

Mortgage Rates

Is now a bad time to buy a house in the UK with the current Birmingham housing market? If we look at this question from the perspective of mortgage rates throughout 2022, the answer may very well be, ‘yes’. However, the Bank of England steadily increased the base rate in 2022, to tackle rising inflation across the country. Now at 3.5%, this figure has constituted the largest influence on rising mortgage rates. But it’s not time to panic just yet. Since November 2022, mortgage rates have started to peak and stabilise. Looking into 2023, many experts in the mortgage market have forecasted further stabilisation around the 4-5% mark. If you’re aware of these changes and can factor in these figures, you can set your expectations well. It’s also possible to buy a house without a mortgage and we recently covered that topic in a detailed blog here.

Birmingham Housing Market: Should I Buy a New House Now or Wait?

Even after reading all this information, with the current Birmingham housing market, you may still be thinking ‘is now a good time to buy a house?’ or ‘should I buy a house now?’ Ultimately, that decision sits solely with you. We recommend weighing up the pros and cons using the information available to you and trying to decide based on where the market will be heading over the next year. One of the biggest turnoffs may be high interest and mortgage rates. This could impact you considerably depending on the type of mortgage that you are interested in taking out. For example, it will have less of a direct effect on first-time buyers. On the other hand, if you’re planning on buying before March 2025, you will benefit from the temporary stamp-duty cuts and a recent decline in house prices overall compared with prior months.

Feel Free to Contact Us If You Have Any Questions About Buying a Home!

Is now a good time to buy a house in the Birmingham Housing Market? The million-dollar question. It’s never going to be an easy decision and it’s one that will come with risks, but if you feel like you’re in a financially comfortable position and that now could be the right time, the jump may be worth it. Just make sure you’ve done your due diligence and have contacted experts to advise you.

Here at Emma’s Properties, we’re proud to provide a bespoke service, tailored to your unique needs. No upfront costs, no hidden charges and a no sale, no fee policy – just results. We’ll work hard to find the best solution for you and – if you so wish – help you to climb onto or up the property ladder. If you have any further questions about the Birmingham housing market, or about buying a house, you can call us directly on 0121 794 4916 or send an email over to emma@emmasproperties.co.uk.