Recently we’ve all become accustomed to headlines of rocketing interest rates. It can certainly make your next property move feel impossible, but actually, it’s a far more favourable picture for home buyers than many might expect.
According to statistics released by Rightmove, demand from buyers was up by 8 per cent nationally in April, compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
This aligns with This Land’s experience locally with a more settled market in 2023, and good value still available to the home buyer at a time where mortgage rates begin to come down. Whilst 5 per cent rates have become common, Santander are among banks offering a solid mid-4 per cent rate and sub-4 per cent rates are creeping back into the market.
What are local experts saying?
Andrew Lock, mortgage adviser at Larkbridge Mortgages, has worked in financial services for 40 years specifically in the Cambridge area, specialising in new-build mortgages since 2007. Lock highlights the value in the surrounding areas of the city, he said: “Cambridge itself is a bubble. It’sa hub for large companies like AstraZeneca and Arm Holdings, which continue to employ and employ.
“In addition you have influxes in population from overseas, such as China and Hong Kong, pouring into the city and as a result house prices in Cambridge are still very buoyant. “In the next circle out though, a lot of [Cambridge’s] European and Chinese population are unaware of the amazing towns and villages outside of the M11 and A14. The prices within the surrounding areas are more affordable and people are getting slightly better deals.
“For example, in places like Over, the house prices are very reasonable compared to 15 minutes closer into Cambridge, which could be as much as double the price.”
Brenda Kibblewhite, This Land head of sales and marketing, agrees that villages outside city borders such as Over provide the home buyer with longer term value. “Over can offer a community feel and country living that the city of Cambridge, as wonderful as it is, simply cannot. The excellent transport links into the city, mean that residents in the outer ring of Cambridge can benefit from the best of both worlds.”
Andrew also offers further clarity on the current mortgage landscape: “Mortgage rates are dropping slowly but are higher compared to what people have been used to in recent years. Although if you go back 10 years, the current rates would be considered normal, so they have only returned to where rates were a decade ago.
“The loan to value has increased now and the rumours of 100 per cent mortgages coming back were confirmed when Skipton Building Society launched their no-deposit offer recently. The 95 per cent mortgage has been available for a while and a few years ago the home buyer couldn’t gain access to that. “Further help is available via green mortgages that are now the norm and offered by a lot of banks and can be a slightly cheaper option for the borrower.”
What are ‘green ’ mortgages?
Banks and mortgage lenders are now offering lower interest rates on mortgages for ‘green’ properties, as a reward to customers for having a better energy performance on their new home. To qualify for a green mortgage, properties must be certified with an energy performance certificate (EPC) of A or B, such as the new-build properties available locally with This Land.
If you are looking to buy a new home or just need mortgage advice, speak with This Land’s home buying executive today. Call 07388 673364, email firstname.lastname@example.org or register online at this-land.co.uk.