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Even more good news for Hertford’s first-time buyers?

Posted by Abel of Hertford on April 3, 2023

House prices expected to keep falling in 2023 by up to 9% as the market slows down…

As we’re all keenly aware, the turmoil in government – and in the economy as a whole – in recent months, combined with the surge in inflation, have forced the Bank of England to raise interest rates. So, if you’re interested in houses for sale in Hertfordshire, or anywhere else for that matter, you’re bound to be concerned about the impact on house prices. After all, as everyone local and anyone researching the area with a view to buying a property in Hertford or the surrounding area will know, it’s a very popular and much sought-after place to live. So of course the prices are rather higher than average, which is hardly surprising for the historic market town described in Metro (Tuesday 7th February 2023) as the ‘fifth-happiest place to live in the East of England’.

Add considerably higher mortgage rates of 5 or 6% or more to the ongoing cost of living crisis, though, and buying here starts to look more than a little challenging. 

Early last year, house prices got something of a boost thanks to the government’s stamp duty cuts, combined with the continued effect of very low interest rates and the rush of interest in properties from people eager for more space after the lockdowns. But then, halfway through the year, all that changed and prices fell consistently as interest rates soared after the now-notorious Kwarteng ‘mini-budget’ of late September. As a consequence, the UK average house price dropped from £293,922 in August 2022 to £281.272 in December according to Halifax Building Society. To put that in context, the average house price in Hertford last year was not far off double the national average, according to various sources including Zoopla (£511,000) and (646,000).

All of which probably sounds rather scary – but actually there is some good news here – particularly for first-time buyers! Instead of the cost of the Hertford home of your dreams spiralling endlessly out of your reach, it looks like it’s going to get more and more affordable throughout 2023 – Lloyds Bank and Halifax Building Society both agree on a 2023 price drop of 8%, Nationwide and Zoopla put the price fall at 5% and the Office for Budget Responsibility put it at a whopping 9%. That amounts to a drop of nearly £30,000 on a Hertford flat!

And since as a first-time buyer you don’t have the worry of your current property also being devalued, that’s got to be great news!

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