Friday, 11 May 2012

The UK Property Market

The UK property market is stagnant. Earlier this year, there was a glimmer of hope when the low end of the market saw an increase in first time buyers trying to complete in time to save some Stamp Duty but, since then, properties are languishing on estate agents books and many home owners have become reluctant landlords.

At the other end of the age scale, retirement housing is plentiful and, therefore, reasonably priced. People can't move in because they are unable to sell their current property; people who have moved to care homes need to sell to pay for care. This is not traditionally a rental market but, even so, one month's rent approximates to one week's care home fees.

If you are preparing to sell or rent a property, a splash of neutral paint is an inexpensive investment. It would also be a good idea to thoroughly clean carpets, not just to remove stains and make them look better but to freshen the smell for potential buyers or renters.

There is another option. If you need to sell a property, there are companies who will buy at a reduced price, about 25%-30% below market value. It's a good risk for them if they have long-term financial backing, as they can sell cheaply or rent it out until the market becomes buoyant again, currently estimated at around 5 years.