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Feeling really hacked off and disillusioned with our ongoing attempts to move. Opinions and a wwyd in this situation would be appreciated.
Brief background (I'll try). Bought 2 bed flat in SE London in 2007 for just under £250k stamp duty mark. Made a lot of improvements, had DD in 2009 and started thinking about trying to upsize beginning of last year, so I've been keeping an eye on the market since then. A three bed period semi in an ok location for schools could be easily found for £350-375k. Over the summer we saw a number of agents who all said we could achieve c. £270k for our flat which would make a move just about doable, so we went on the market at £280k. Perhaps predictably, even though we had a lot of viewings and a couple of offers within a fortnight, they were all at £250k. We couldn't at that time afford to move whilst accepting that, so thought of other options.
I should probably add that school applications had become a priority, so we looked into renting out our place to rent a house near a school, and had got to the stage of having a tenant for ours and a deposit on our place to rent, when we informed our mortgage company (we had taken advice from our IFA prior to this who said it was all fine) who then wanted to more than double our rate, which made the whole thing very financially precarious so we had to pull out. It was during this time I fell pg with DC2.
Our plan was then to save as much as possible to we could afford to sell at £250k. We had been thinking about going on the market this spring, and keeping fingers crossed for school waiting lists if we didn't get into any (its not guaranteed where we are due to massive oversubscription int the borough, so high chance we may be just too far away from any of the numerous surrounding schools).
However during this time (I.e six months) the price of houses going on the market seems to have skyrocketed - houses that would have been listed comfortably under £400k are now on for £425k which is pushing mortgage payments to an uncomfortable level for us (there was a rash of new properties on Rightmove today prompting this post).
The price of flats (prob due to stamp duty) has remained static and any priced too high are sitting on the market. I can't believe that the higher house prices are realistic in any way but I also don't believe someone listing for £425 would accept a £50k reduction in the asking price. To demonstrate, there is a row of modern town houses in a not so great location. One was on the market for a while at £325k (already a price drop) and eventually sold before Christmas (obv I don't know what it actually sold for). The next door property (no discernible difference) has gone on at £420k! They have just swapped agencies at same price, so are obviously holding out.
Just feel very glum over this, especially now space is going to become a real issue with DC2. I would be happy to sit it out and save more for another six months (we are luckily able to save a good amount each month at the moment due to low mortgage costs in current place), but my fear is the gap between what we can sell and buy for will widen even further, DD will also have started school and so the move becomes even more complicated.
Any thoughts/advice? Is our only option to leave the area we love(or commit to living in a tiny space with 2 dc)? We have also been looking to move to the south woodford/wanstead area, but the situation is the same there with house prices, and the school oversubscription even worse, so I can't see how that is possible.
Apologies for the lengthy rant, I just feel so trapped and unsure what we should be doing.
Sorry but I think trying to sell at around the 250k mark is going to be a nightmare.
We bought a house 2 years ago for £220,000(we are up north). It was originally on for £280,000, then dropped to £260,000. When we were looking it seemed to be standard practice to knock at least £20k off the asking price, doing that takes you near the 250k mark and the stamp duty difference is huge.
I don't really have much advice, maybe you could pay the stamp duty for the buyer when it's sold.
Hmm yes I agree our place is worth £250k and we have made peace with tht, hence the fact we are saving as much as we can each month so we can accept offers at that price.
I just can't get my head around houses on the same street being worth 10 or even 20% more than ones that sold six months ago. Could that really be the case, or are agents giving people unrealistic expectations? Almost like they have decided that now houses across the area should be worth over £400k?
I suppose all we can do is monitor whether the houses actually sell over the next six months or whether they drop price or come off the market. Then make our decisions based on that. I've looked at mouseprice and it only goes to November, and there is actually not a lot of sold houses to compare to, by generally on those streets they sold for £350-£380k. Perhaps the vendors will sell at the higher rate, I just can't get my head around it as it contradicts all that's in the news about house prices.
Or yes, mustafa, the renting for a year idea has been discussed between me ad DH. It's just risky as if house prices continue to rise we'll never be able to get back in the ladder so would in all likelihood have to move out of London anyway.
I know there are many people in the same position as us, it's just so frustrating!
Use one of the websites that shows how long houses have been on the market then you'll see if the houses at 400k are actually selling. Where we are sensibly priced houses sell very quickly and everything else sits on the market for months. There's one house that has been listed for over a year and the asking price has dropped from 500k to 450k... and it's still not selling because it's still over priced.
OP, I can empathise - though our situation is slightly different in that we're FTBs.
We've seen a house that is well affordable, ok location (but not our preferred location), doesn't need much work, but that we'd grow out of in 5ish years. And I'm just not convinced it would be possible for us to move into our preferred area for what we could afford come the time - ie that the gap between what our ok-location-house would sell for vs what pretty much same size houses would be available for.
I'm trying to convince DH that we should perhaps stretch ourselves as much as we can now and stay put for much longer, rather than just buying an interim house and having to face the market all over again and not be in any stronger position...
It's really tough at the mo, we've been looking for over a year now, so totally feel your pain.
I hav to say hello that with the benefit of hindsight I would recommend continuing to save until you can buy a house you wold like to stay in longer term. We naively though we'd do what many had done before us - buy a starter home and upsize when the time is right. We've saved a significant amount of money in that time as well, and yet due to the fact the ftb's ate generally older, and there are less of them, properties like ours have stalled, whereas 3 bed family homes have continued to rise, so we are still stuck.
I wouldn't mind prices stalling/dropping if it had the same effect on the kind of House we want to buy.
We feel like mugs for saving our 10% deposit for years and buying in 2007. If we'd bought 100% five years earlier we'd be quids in!