Property prices on the rise

For many people, buying a home is the biggest financial commitment they ever make. Given the gravity of the decision, it is vital that they get it right. Choosing a suitable property is only the first stage. After this, there are the formalities to consider. It is no surprise then that many people opt to take advantage of the services of property lawyers to help ensure the process runs smoothly.

Property solicitors are there to make sure that purchases go according to plan. Common issues they help with include boundary checks, planning permissions, ownership checks and title registration.

Consumers may be especially eager to take advantage of property legal advice at present. After all, the sums of money they are having to stump up in order to buy homes is on the rise. According to figures provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), house prices reached a new high in August.

The organisation noted a 0.5 percent month-on-month increase during the 31-day period, taking the average price of a home across the UK to £247,000. This was up on a previous peak recorded in January 2008.

Meanwhile, England recorded the strongest annual growth at 4.1 percent, followed by 1.1 percent in Northern Ireland and one percent in Wales. Prices in Scotland fell by 0.7 percent over the year.

Many experts predict that the property market will heat up as a result of the launch of the government’s Help to Buy scheme, which offers state-backed mortgages to consumers with deposits as low as five percent. Some fear that a new house price bubble is already starting to develop.

However, chief European and UK economist for IHS Global Insight Howard Archer does does not believe the UK market is currently in this position. He said: “While the strength of house price rises in London is becoming an increasing concern and pushing up the overall national increase in house prices, we are currently a long way off from an overall housing market bubble emerging. Indeed, in many areas house prices are still well below their 2007 peak levels and rising only modestly at the moment.”

He did add a note of caution though, stating: “Nevertheless, there is a mounting danger that house prices could really take off over the coming months, especially if already significantly improving housing market activity and rising buyer interest is lifted appreciably further by the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme.”

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Treasury remarked: “The government understands that the housing and mortgage markets are yet to return to their long-run levels, leaving too many people – especially first-time buyers – struggling to afford the historically high level of deposits. That’s why the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee is a vital tool to give young people the same opportunity to get a foot on the property ladder as previous generations.”

If property prices are set to rise, now could be a good time for consumers to buy. By getting in there now, people may benefit financially in the long run.

About the Author – Anna Longdin is a freelance blogger who has written about the UK property market for a variety of websites, including Evolution Legal Concierge.

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