Even without David Cameron mad decision to bring forward Help to Buy (2) the state-backed mortgage indemnity for lenders by three months, the housing market is already doing quite nicely.
The latest data from Sequence, a national network of 300 estate agents shows, the number of new buyers has risen 58% in the last 12 months and UK house prices are rising at 7% a year.
As the housing bubble inflates, with buyers finding they can borrow more for less and sellers reacting to the increased demand by raising asking prices, estate agents are cleaning up. So much so that they are focusing on ‘easy’ sales rather than ‘best price’ sales, by grading buyers according to their potential ability to complete the deal quickly, without any delay or complications. Showing houses to the best buyers first – those most likely to be able to complete the quickest and easiest. According to Francis Long of buyer’s agent Hanslips, top of their list are buyers with cash.
Buyers with cash. Developers and cash buyers, preferably represented by a ‘buying agent’ (has this industry no shame?) that is preferably known to the estate agent, as buyers will have been pre-vetted.
- Buyers who have already sold their existing house, but not completed who will not need a mortgage. They are considered better than renting cash buyers, because they are committed to leaving so are less likely to back out.
- Cash buyers who are renting.
- Those without a property to sell but with a mortgage agreed in principle, those who used the estate agent’s own broker receiving priority.
- Buyers with their current home under offer.
- And lastly, buyers who have yet put their homes on the market yet.
So if you want to be sure you get shown the best properties first, make sure you are a cash buyer or at least say you are!