Are property prices still going up? If so should I sell my property now or wait?

Should I wait to sell my house?

Should I wait to sell my house? - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Simon Gerrard, president of the National Association of Estate Agents, answers your property questions.

The average property price in London is now approximately 35 per cent above the pre-crash peak in 2007. Figures from the Nationwide show that prices across the UK rose by 5.2 per cent in the 12 months to April 2015. In London the rise was significantly higher at 12.7 per cent, however with the uncertainty leading up to the election there was a considerable slow-down in the market in the capital over the first four months of 2015.

Whilst the result of the election is positive for the property market, overall it is felt that by the end of the year we can expect to see prices approximately five to eight per cent higher than in January.

Prices are supported by an improving economy, rising employment and historically low interest rates, which look set to continue for the medium term. Prices are also driven by simple supply and demand. Demand for property in North and North West London remains strong. Excellent schools, transport links, shopping and open spaces make our area an ideal place to live.

With this in mind it is not unexpected for people to think they should put off selling. “Do we sell now or wait for a higher price?” This is the question estate agents are most often asked, and ultimately it is a very simple answer – it will depend on your own personal circumstances.

It is a natural feeling to want to sell at the peak and buy at the low. But remember you only know it’s the bottom when prices are going up and by the time the market has reached the top it is already too late as prices start falling. For most the reason for moving will be down to personal circumstances, marriage, a growing family, a job move, or a desire to move to a new area or simply an aspiration to live in a nicer home.

For those moving up the property ladder, waiting for prices to rise is a major false economy. You may sell your current home for 10 per cent more but you will be paying 10 per cent more for the property you are buying. So selling for £330,000 instead of £300,000 to buy at £550,000 instead of £500,000 will see you worse off as it will cost you an extra £20,000. It is therefore more important that you don’t let the market run away from you by putting things off.

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Waiting for the right time of year to sell is also becoming less relevant. The housing market is no longer as cyclical as once it was, with demand stronger in the spring and going quiet during the school holidays. Serious sellers and serious buyers are there 365 days a year and it is more important to put your home on the market at the right price rather than at the right time.

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