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Don’t let the mortgage crisis put you off your first property for sale in Hertford…

Posted by The Abel Estate Agent Team on August 1, 2023

… use your imagination and adjust your property priorities!

Although reports of a modest drop in the inflation rate in June give some cause for optimism that we might avoid another hefty rise in the Bank of England’s base rate, it’s safe to say no one’s expecting mortgage rates to get any more affordable in the short — or even medium — term. And of course the obvious consequence is fewer people prepared to risk buying homes, which means sagging demand and therefore a fall in property values… Not an appealing prospect, is it! After all, who wants to pay historically high rates of interest on homes for sale in Hertford only to find they’re depreciating in value the moment you move in!

But does that mean you should abandon the dream of buying your first home? Well, not necessarily. There’s no denying that this is a tough time to be buying — but, as TV property expert Phil Spencer pointed out in his recent Evening Standard article, if the alternative is renting, you could well be even worse off. Because even as average rents hit a record high of £2,219 a month (and 80% of average take-home pay), there’s unprecedented competition for every property that comes onto the market. It’s got so bad that we’re hearing reports of people signing a rental contract without even viewing the property, such is their desperation to beat the rush! Worse still, because private landlords are under pressure from high mortgage rates, many of them are giving up and selling up — so you never know how long you’re safe in your rented home.

Of course, at the end of the day, you’re either in a position to buy or you’re not. But if you see a way to make it financially viable, it’s still well worth going ahead — especially if you make some adjustments to your property priorities and your expectations. The first thing to bear in mind is the fact that very few first-time buyers stay in their first property for life. After all, most of us buy when single, or co-habiting or perhaps newly married or joined in a civil partnership. Very often a major life-change, such as the arrival of children, inspires the next major move: because you need more space, or a more family-friendly location.

So, bearing in mind that this property isn’t for life, why not adjust your expectations. Maybe you could manage with somewhere a bit smaller, a bit further from town, the station, or your workplace? Maybe it doesn’t have to be a house — perhaps a flat would be fine for now? If you’re thinking of buying in London, why not look at one of the lovely, leafy historic towns within a short train ride such as… well, Hertford, for instance!

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