Property expert Jonathan Hopper highlights some of the risks and challenges facing buyers in the current property market 

Downsizing, upsizing, and relocating are among the top reasons to move house, and whilst changes to economic and political landscapes might present additional challenges, they are largely background noise for those who need to move. This said, buying under pressure when there is uncertainty in the market can lead to mistakes, and paying over the odds can leave homeowners exposed to potential risks.  

With a rapidly moving mortgage market and increasing disparity in property pricing, the market has become a minefield for buyers to navigate with the confidence that they are buying the best property at the best possible price. 

Is it a buyers’ or sellers’ market?  

All around the UK, there is a continued shortage of prime properties for sale and previously this shortage was cited as a reason for rapidly rising prices. However, in the current market, whilst average property prices have continued to grow over the past 12 months, the rate of growth has slowed considerably as the property market reacts to wider factors at play.  

As there remains a distinct lack of property available on the market, this slowdown of property price growth doesn’t necessarily place us in a market where buyers have more power than sellers. It does mean that there might be greater room for negotiation, but as the best properties will always demand a premium, there is a fine balance to strike. 

How to decipher what to pay 

With so many external factors at play, assessing the true value of a property, particularly one that is highly desirable and seldom available to buy, can be challenging. 

Certain types of properties, or the specific location they enjoy, are always going to be in short supply in any market and, as such, will always achieve strong prices due to their scarcity value. However, these are the exception, not the norm. It is usually only worth paying a premium price if you are sure that the home you are acquiring truly is ‘best in class’; therefore, the premium paid at the time of purchase should still apply when you eventually come to sell it again. 

Navigating the local market 

Forming sound purchasing decisions in a time of uncertainty is a complex challenge. Buyers need to think about how they are approaching their moving plans and may benefit from seeking independent advice. Before starting a property search and negotiations, having a circle of trusted advisers such as a solicitor, surveyor and property finder can be hugely beneficial. It ensures you receive objective advice from people working in your best interests who can, in turn, give you clarity and confidence that the price you are paying is not too much. 

In a rapidly changing market, Garrington offers unparalleled expertise and market insight for clients wanting to make clear and confident purchasing decisions. 

If you would like to learn more about how Garrington can help save you time and money please get in touch for a free, no obligation initial discussion.