Despite predictions of a recession, the housing market appears to remain resilient; there may be some slippage in prices, although that is only marginally evident at present and both the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), and the Capital Economics consultancy, expect a quick recovery, with increases of around 4% in line with earnings from 2022.
Property is probably the biggest investment anyone ever makes, so minor hiccups are generally factored in when purchasing; take comfort from interest rates being at their lowest for decades, whilst demand remains high, fuelled by shortages of accommodation in the right places.
The Government hopes to speed up new builds by reforming the over-bureaucratic Planning process, which can delay projects for years. To be successful, changes must respect the environment, and understand where and how people actually want to live, incentivising small builders rather than continuing to allow market domination by just a few construction companies.
Adapting to lifestyle changes prompted by Covid-19 means creating more open spaces, pedestrian and cycle-friendly tree-lined roads and redeveloping brownfield sites, rather than building on the green belt. Redundant office blocks and retail units may be ideal targets, rather than allowing them to decay as memorials to the virus.
In recent months, people of all ages, with or without any horticultural expertise, have discovered that gardens can contribute to mental wellbeing, for both children and adults. So, in future, they perhaps could be integrated more widely into flat schemes, allowing greater community engagement with space for growing vegetables and supporting endangered wildlife by adhering to regulations to protect species at risk, including bats.
Introducing hedgehog highways, using nesting bricks and boxes, insect hotels and discreet log piles to support and protect insects and hedgehogs. Designing landscaping to attract bees and other important insects; ponds are desirable for frogs and a wide range of fish, but should only be installed where safe for children. Instead, put a shallow bowl in the ground for hedgehogs to access, also attracting toads; both are great at controlling slugs and snails, but only if people avoid using poisonous pellets which also kill wildlife!
A wide range of birds will quickly discover any food left out for them, but it is important to be consistent with supplies, especially in the autumn and winter; sunflower seeds, fat balls, mealworms, niger seeds, nuts and chopped apples are popular, but use strong feeders to protect them from squirrels. A bird table and bird bath are also desirable, but give them a good weekly clean.
As estate agents have discovered since reopening, buyers are keen to make that elusive home purchase with its own, or easy access to, outside space. There’s no time to waste.
To speed up the transaction as soon as you find the ideal property, have your mortgage agreed in principle by talking to our skilled advisers at The Mortgage Centres, who can also help with securing the right insurance.