The month of May has seen another house price record, after the Halifax House Price Index announced that annual house price inflation is now at its strongest level in nearly seven years. The average UK property price has reached £261,743, and all UK regions, bar the Northeast, saw an acceleration in year-on-year house price inflation last month.


House Prices Rise


Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, explained that: ‘House prices reached another record high in May, with the average property adding more than 1.3% (£3,000) to its value in the last month alone. A year on from the first easing of national lockdown restrictions, and the gradual reopening of the housing market, annual growth surged to 9.5%, meaning the average UK home has increased in value by more than £22,000 over the past 12 months. Heading into the traditionally busy summer period, market activity continues to be boosted by the government’s stamp duty holiday, with prospective buyers racing to complete purchases in time to benefit from the maximum tax break ahead of June’s deadline, after which there will be a phased return to full rates.’

 

In addition to this, some potential homebuyers have built up savings during lockdown restrictions, meaning that they can buy more expensive properties, and this can then push property prices even higher. Whilst these effects will be temporary, the current strength in house prices also points to a deeper and long-lasting change as buyer preferences shift in anticipation of a post-pandemic lifestyle – as greater demand for larger properties with more space might warrant an increased willingness to spend a higher proportion of income on housing. These trends, coupled with a growing confidence in a more rapid recovery in economic activity if restrictions continue to be eased, are likely to support house prices for some time to come, particularly given the continued shortage of properties for sale.

 

The Northwest has recorded especially large percentage gains with double-digit annual growth, whilst the South of England lags behind with a smaller 3.1% growth. The government’s stamp duty holiday is also boosting market activity as the traditionally busy summer period begins.

 

Expert help with selling your property

If you have decided to sell your property in the near future, then you will need to understand how the conveyancing process works for selling property. If you are selling your property in the UK, then the conveyancing process includes these steps:

 

1. Choosing a solicitor to help you to sell your property and acquiring the relevant forms

When you have agreed to the terms and the fees, then a contract can be drafted from the information that has been provided in the forms. The deeds to the property will then be sent to you.

 

2. Answering any buyer enquiries

 

3. Redeeming your mortgage and signing the paperwork

Once the buyer’s solicitors are satisfied with initial enquiries, then you can proceed to signing the contract and the transfer deed. If you have an outstanding mortgage on the property that you are selling, then the necessary redemption figures from your existing mortgage provider will need to be obtained. This is so you can know what the amount that will need to be repaid upon the completion of your sale, in order to redeem the mortgage.

 

4. Exchange of contracts

Contracts can be exchanged when the buyer’s solicitors have completed their processes and their mortgage offer is secured. Once the contracts have been exchanged, then both you and the buyer are legally committed to the sale of the property.

 

If you have decided to sell your property in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, then our expert solicitors can help you throughout the process. Get in touch today for help and advice.

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