Buying a House in the UK

Buying a House in the UK

As property markets go, the UK has a diverse one. With a wide range of properties such as quaint cottages in the countryside to modern apartments in the capital city, there is something for all tastes and expectations.

However, as of 2023, the UK property market has significantly slowed on purchases due to a number of factors such as rising interest rates and job stability. The number of people buying in the UK in June 2023 was 9% lower than the previous year, suggesting the market is slowing down.

Our blog explores whether the UK is a great place to invest in property, what buying in London looks like as well as some tips for buying in the UK if you’re looking to relocate.

Things to know when buying a property in the UK

If you’re thinking about buying a house in the UK, there are a few things you need to know. First, you’ll need to get a mortgage. Mortgages in the UK are typically offered at fixed rates that match the Bank Of England interest rate or variable interest rates which can fluctuate with the market. 

As of August 2023, interest rates are high at 5.75% which has slowed buying down within the UK, but creates more opportunities for non-UK residents looking to relocate as there is more room for negotiation. Once you’ve secured a mortgage, you can start looking for properties, and choosing the right locations for your needs. 

When looking at properties, it’s important to think about what you need from a home. Extra outdoor space? Storage such as garages or is it being close to a train station. Deciding on what you want from a home is the most important part of buying a house.

Another factor to think about is the cost of buying a house and working out your budget so you can start looking within a price range. We’ve previously explored the extra costs of buying in the UK and how it can change depending on where you’re looking to buy a house in England, Wales or Scotland.

The average house price in the UK in June 2023 was £288,000 which was £5k less than Nov 22. As of June 2023, properties in London had decreased in value by -0.6% to £528,000, significantly more than the rest of the UK. 

Buying a House in London

Buying a house in London is a very different experience than buying a house in the rest of the UK as prices are much higher than the national average. This means that you’ll need a bigger deposit to buy a house in London.

As well as higher house prices, there are a few other things to keep in mind when buying a house in London. 

  1. The property market in London is very competitive with hundreds of potential buyers looking to bid on property. This means that you’ll need to act quickly when you find a property that you want to buy.
  2. You’ll also need to be aware of the stamp duty surcharge that applies to properties in London. The stamp duty surcharge is a tax that you pay on top of the purchase price of a property. The amount of stamp duty surcharge that you pay depends on the value of the property.
  3. Check the local planning rules in the area you’re looking to buy. London is a very densely populated city, so there are a lot of restrictions on what you can and can’t do with your property. The same goes for the leasehold restrictions as all properties in London, whether they’re houses or flats, are leasehold.

If you’re willing to put in the work, buying a house in London can be a rewarding experience and despite the higher prices, millions of people choose to live in the vibrant capital.

 Some great tips for buying a house in the UK and London

  1. Get your pre-approved for a mortgage before you even start looking at properties. This will give you an idea of how much you can afford to borrow and will make the buying process much smoother.

     2. Use a good estate agent. They can help you find the right property for your needs and budget, and they can negotiate on your behalf with the seller.

    3. Don’t be afraid to negotiate on the price. The asking price is just a starting point, and the seller is often willing to come down in price, particularly in a slower market which 2023 has been so far.

   4. Be prepared to act quickly in London. The property market in London particularly can be very competitive, so you need to be prepared to move fast when you find a property that you want to buy.

   5. Do your research. Make sure you understand the property market in the area where you’re buying, and make sure you’re familiar with the local planning rules.

Buying a house is a big decision, particularly if you’re not a resident of the same country, but it can be a very rewarding one. By following our tips, you can make the buying process easier and more successful. Want to learn more about our relocation services, get in touch with our team today.

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