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Insight: The Housing Market May 2022

As homeowners, it's essential to keep informed on the latest trends in the UK housing market to inform decisions from investments to moving. However, it's also important to interpret the national data through a local lens. So read on to learn more about the UK's housing market, specifically Kent, in May 2022.

The headline stats and facts

  • Average selling price: £286,079
  • Property rice increases: Prices rose 10.8% in the year to April, representing ten continuous months of property value increases (longest run for six years).
  • Interest rates: Bank of England raised interest rates to 1%, the fourth rise in under six months.
  • First-time buyers: Nationwide reportsthat 70% of would-be first-time buyers are delaying their purchase due to the cost of living crisis.
  • Demand for property exceeds supply
  • A cautious return to cities and commuter towns

What does this mean?

House price growth remains strong, but it is stabilising. Unemployment is low, and low housing stock puts upward pressure on prices. Low supply shields sellers, and mortgage approvals remain above pre-pandemic levels, and the effect of the stamp duty holiday has lingered.

In the face of affordability issues and consumer confidence wavering, it's unlikely this picture will remain static later in the year and into 2023. As such, declines should be expected, especially in light of the Bank of England’s unsurprising decision to increase interest rates. Interest rate rises make mortgages more expensive, leading to people holding fire on house moves. That said, bricks and mortar are secure, and with volatile markets, it is likely that investors will turn once again to property to sure up their wealth.

Everyone interested in the housing market, from first-time buyers to investors, is affected by cost of living concerns. The picture for first-time buyers is particularly notable, with the cost of living crisis making it increasingly difficult for them to save for a deposit, delaying their first purchase.The gap between property owners and renters is growing and is likely to continue without radical change.

Investors are still turning their attention to short-term rentals and holiday homes. Well primed for this are the Garden of England and the Kentish coast. Research shows that higher numbers are looking at staycations due to the environmental aspect, making these properties a sound investment.

Eyes on the ground in Kent

The national picture undoubtedly shapes the situation in the Kent housing market. However, there are some interesting insights at the local level.

Halifax reports that average property prices have risen by £47,568 in the last two years. The South East, with annual house price growth of 12.1%, is one of the notable areas. However, it is fascinating when we drill down into the Kent data. Across Kent, average property prices have increased by £56,000 (19%) since March 2020. Drilling in further, we discover that East Kent particularly carries most of this upward spike. Average prices in Thanet have increased 26%, Dover 24% and Maidstone 20%.

What this means in real terms is that our local area is seeing national trends on an intense scale. Property prices here have always been strong, but the prices are likely as buoyant as they are due to the flood of people moving out of London during the pandemic, and Kent offers exceptional value compared to other home counties.

The changing landscape

As always, we are here to assist with your removals. For a quote, please call 01622 672217.

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01622 672217

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