According to the Express, a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) report will today claim that many homeowners are in a rush to sell their houses before the toll of post election cuts hits the economy and wrecks the housing market.RICS are saying that people are so uncertain about the future that they are flocking to the estate agents in order to offload their bricks and mortar before it becomes a millstone around their necks.
The fear is that, whichever flavour of political party wins the election, the economic position of the country can only decline as cuts bite, jobs are lost and taxes rise. There is also the spectre of possible rising interest rates, as the only realistic way from 0.5% is up. Already some ex-two earner families are putting their houses on the market as one partner has lost their job and they are surviving on one wage.
But the potential buyers are still not there or are pulling out at the last minute as the level of commitment dawns on them and they question their ability to keep the house in any upcoming economic problems. They may also be pulling out because, at the end of the day, they cannot get the mortgage they require.
This may well be the trigger for house price falls across the country as the number of sellers has risen to its highest level for three years and some estate agents are seeing record numbers of listings. The property portal Rightmove has also seen its biggest number of new properties for 18 months.
To put their houses on the market the sellers, in accordance with new regulations, have to show commitment by purchasing a Home Information Pack (HIP). So this isn’t just people testing the market for free like they used to.
But they sellers must also have a credible onward plan, they can’t just become homeless. They are either looking to downsize, or maybe rent until things improve keeping any profit from the sale ready as a deposit on a new house later.
The biggest obstacle to all this may actually be the new government. Their aim, whoever they are, will be firstly to keep house prices up by as much as possible then addressing the economic problems of the country. Maybe those who own houses would be better of downsizing the rest of their lives and hanging on to what is in fact their home, not an investment. After all the costs and rental etc they could just end up losing their home as well as the same amount of money.