The UK Housing Market is definitely on the move again. While some of the impetus has come from overseas demand for desirable homes in the centre of London, confidence has also been returning in many business sectors in the UK. That has been reflected in people beginning to think about either moving home or extending or renovating their existing properties. As the economy improves so does job security. With job security comes a willingness to spend once more.
Impetus has been provided at the lower end of the scale to help first time buyers get on the property ladder. The Government’s ‘Help to Buy’ Scheme aimed to support buyers that had a 5% deposit by assisting with a further 20%. Financial institutions that have been required to provide only 75% mortgages have been far more likely to approve applications because their exposure is reduced.
The result was an average growth throughout the country of around 10% in the last year. The construction industry has been able to respond to the acknowledged national housing shortage and as long as raging property value inflation does not return, investing in property is once again a safe bet.
Everyone has, however, become more conscious of rising energy costs and modern new builds often stress the energy efficiency of the homes on offer. Indeed, people selling their existing homes are expected to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) that lets potential buyers see how experts have graded a particular house. Companies like epcuk.org work to a standard and effectively mark a house on its performance. Sellers will actually get a list of recommendations together with the certificate, recommendations of improvements that can be made, and the ‘marking’ that the same house will get once those recommendations have been done.
It is important to get a specialist company to come to assess the house and provide a certificate. The costs involved should be available for you to consider in the vast majority of cases before you make the decision to proceed. Obviously, if you live in a remote area there may be an extra charge, but generally you should be able to see guideline costs by looking on a specialist’s website.
There will be an assumption that similar sized properties will cost a similar amount in terms of energy. However, actual running costs may vary between different forms of energy and levels of insulation. The increasing cost of energy is a real reason that everyone should be happy to have their homes certified anyway, and advice provided about how to improve things. When the time comes and you want to move, you need to be certain that your home will get serious consideration from buyers that may have multiple options.