When is the best time to buy a house?
Accept that no-one can predict the future
First things first - there is no way of knowing what the housing market will do next. Yes, experts can make predictions. But even they can be surprised, meaning there’s simply no way of telling the ‘best time’ to buy a house.
Some economic and political events are expected to affect the property market. Take Brexit for example. As property experts explain to Homes and Property magazine, “The expectation, pre-referendum, that house prices would collapse was very wide of the mark. House prices are still rising across the UK and continue to grow in London, which is arguably more sensitive to Brexit.”
While global politics and news can affect the economy and in turn impact house prices and rates of inflation, it’s a near-impossible exercise to try and predict the outcome. So how should we judge the best time to buy a house instead?
Focus on your own circumstances
While global influences are out of your control and impossible to predict, you do have control over your own circumstances. When considering the best time to buy a house, look at the factors that you can change - from your budget to your deposit, employment prospects and credit rating - and use this to inform your decision. Here are some key points to consider.
● Is your deposit big enough to get a good mortgage rate, or should you wait it out to save more money?
● Should you wait for that promotion or pay rise before getting a mortgage, so you have better lending potential?
● Do you need to query defaults on your credit record, to boost your chances of mortgage approval?
● To ease worries about changing interest rates, should you ask about fixed-rate mortgages where the interest rate is fixed over a set period of time?
Only you know what needs to be done before buying a house, and only you can judge the ‘best’ time. There’s no one-size-fits-all advice when it comes to buying a home, as mortgage advisor Mark Greene explains to Forbes: “Setting a specific home buying goal is about staying focused on your dream. Do that and try to avoid the distractions that will keep you from crossing the finish line.”
If you’re currently renting and you’ve got your deposit saved, it may actually cost you less to buy your own property than you are currently paying in rent^. The best course of action is to decide what type of home you want to buy and focus on achieving that goal without worrying unnecessarily about fluctuations in the housing market and changing interest rates.
If you want a better idea of what you can afford right now, search properties within your budget on property websites, and use this to decide if you are ready to buy a house - or whether it’s worth waiting it out just a little bit longer.
^ Source - Money Advice Service