06 January 2022

The UK housing market boomed in 2021. The average price of a house in December rose to a record breaking £254,822.00, the number of first-time buyers entering the market was at its highest level for 19 years and 2021 saw the strongest year for mortgage lending since 2007.

But will 2022 be another record-breaking year for property sales?

Sarah Ford Head of Residential Property and Senior Associate Solicitor reports.

Some property experts are predicting that the year ahead could see a more stable market, a return to normality, but with mortgage lending still at affordable rates and flexible working available for many, demand for property is still high, especially in the South West and this looks set to continue well into the New Year.

The first-time buyer market is predicted to remain strong in 2022 with Government incentives in place for first time buyer, including the relief on the payment of stamp duty on the first £300,000.00 of a purchase price and reliefs which result in significant stamp duty savings for first-time buyers purchasing a property between £300,000.00 and £500,000.00.

Many first-time buyers were able to save large deposits during lockdown and can now enter the housing market earlier than anticipated tempted by affordable lending rates.

So how should first-time buyers approach a property sale?

  1. Set a budget. Not only will you need to save for a deposit, but you must also consider the cost of the entire move, – surveys, searches, Land Registry fees, mortgage arrangement and legal fees, stamp duty costs, removals, and any possible property repairs. Factor these costs in when making an offer and be wary of being drawn into a bidding war with other buyers.
  2. Speak to a mortgage company or broker in advance of making an offer and get an agreement in principle from a mortgage lender for a mortgage product. This may put you in a stronger negotiating position should there be offers on the table from other buyers.
  3. Appoint an experienced Lawyer who will be able to advise about current market conditions and any possible delays during conveyancing.
  4. Commission a full property survey. This is different from a valuation survey undertaken by a mortgage lender and will highlight any future problems. You may then be able to renegotiate the purchase price based on the results of the survey.
  5. Ask questions. Find out as much as you can about the area and the property as once you have exchanged contracts and are legally committed to the purchase, it will be too late.

For more information contact Sarah Ford on 01929 500328, email