Lewis Sutehall, Sales Director in Cobham
It’s an age-old saying, but it’s true. Cash really is king. And given how hot the Surrey property market is at the moment, the phrase is currently more pertinent than ever.
Only last week, the Financial Times reported how mortgage-free purchases are on the up. In the first three months of 2022, there were 482,000 UK cash buyers who spent £178bn on property. In terms of the number of people able to buy a property without a mortgage in Quarter 1, this was up 17 percent.
Property Investor Post also reported on the surge in mortgage-free buyers, suggesting that this was behind how 73 percent of property purchases this year have been completed chain free. Compared to 65 percent of purchases made chain-free in 2010 and 69 percent in 2021, this represents a jump of eight percent and four percent respectively.
It’s also widely accepted that chain-free buyers tend to get to the front of the queue compared to those with a property to sell. So, what does this mean for Surrey homeowners looking to make their next move?
Bringing it home to Elmbridge
As a Cobham estate agent who has worked in property since 2007, I’ve seen markets go and up and down continuously. Indeed, having started my career at the beginning (or thereabouts) of the financial crash, I’ve arguably seen the property market at its lowest ebb.
However, what’s different in this instance is that we’re seeing an increase in more cash rich buyers in tandem with huge jumps in property values – the result of which makes buying a property even more competitive.
According to the Office for National Statistics, over the past year the average house price has jumped 10.9 percent to £277,000. But as we know, the values of Elmbridge properties are way beyond the national average, which therefore poses an additional challenge for those looking to buy their next dream property.
Getting in pole position
As markets change, so too must the approaches made by those looking to find their next home.
If you’re considering your next move, our view is that you shouldn’t rule out selling your property before you find your next property. This may, of course, require spending a short period of time renting a property until you find one that you want to buy. However, by doing so, it means that you’ll be securing your place at the front of the seller’s queue.
It won’t always be like this, of course. Things will change and it will, once again, become a buyer’s market. But right now, it’s a seller’s market. As a result, in order to compete against cash-rich buyers, our advice is to make sure that you’re in the strongest position possible.
There’s another age-old saying that rings true here, too. If you can’t beat them, join them.