A lot has been made in the recent past of the First Time Buyer (FTB) to the continuing health of the UK housing market. Access to mortgages and the deposit required by FTB takes up a lot of news columns and they are continually seen as the lifeblood of the residential market. Because of this we tend to ignore the other, equally as important, people involved.
Any house move has a chain of people involved. In its simplest form that is two, a buyer and a seller. But there are usually a succession of buyers and sellers involved. There must however be a start and end of the chain.
Generally, at the start of the chain is a FTB, a Buy To Letter (BTL), purchaser of second home or maybe a Sold to Rent and buy later returning to ownership.
At the top end is normally death, debt, divorce or disposal (otherwise sale of an unwanted property, BTL shedding property or sale of second home for example).
There is said to be a dearth of property available for sale at the moment, which is holding property prices up. This suggests to me that the four ‘Ds’ above do not lead to a sale in as many cases as it used to. Especially if the property was bought within the last few years. Some may even feel that they’d rather have the money in property than in a bank at the moment.
People who would have sold in the past may now be holding on in the hope that, even if there is a double dip, the prices will eventually recover.
If you inherit a house it may make sense to hold on to it and rent it out for a time while you keep marketing it to get the best possible price.
Those who get into debt are now finding the lenders a little more amenable (under government pressure) not to go for early repossession, leading to less repossessed stock on the market, for the moment.
When relationships broke down in the past the couple would sell the house and split or maybe one would remortgage the house in their own name to buy the other out if affordable. But now, where there may be a high loan to value (LTV) or even negative equity concerned they can do neither.
With general disposal, why sell now unless you really have to? What would you gain?