There has been no shortage of willing participants when it comes to predicting house price increases in 2014, with the emphasis firmly being placed on the word increase.
From a very quick straw poll it seems that a 4-8 per cent yearly rise appears to be the consensus for property outside the M25 and a 6-10 per cent rise inside this asphalt boundary. And talk, for now at least, seems to have reverted from ‘bubble’ to ‘buoyant’ which can only be a good thing.
With the housing market going from strength to strength and optimism continuing to rise, this will inevitably put greater emphasis on the mortgage market to manage growing demand as efficiently and effectively as possible. This means simplifying processing for intermediaries and clients as well as enhanced technological support and innovation to help grow the industry’s capacity on a number of levels.
Another important area needing attention in 2014 is the valuations market. It’s fair to say that valuations can, on occasion, be considered a somewhat murky arena and it’s important for lenders and surveyors to improve transparency around this process. It’s also clear that more surveyors are needed to help avoid telling delays in the homebuying process. Thankfully this appears to have been recognised.
In the third quarter 2013 e.surv added 53 new building surveying graduates to its workforce and it has recently been reported that Connells Survey & Valuation plans to invest £6m into expanding its team of chartered surveyors in 2014 to address concerns about a shortage of surveyors available to undertake valuations.
It’s no secret that housing market confidence will continue to propel the mortgage market forward in 2014.
And while the exact scale of this confidence and subsequent increases in property prices remain to be seen, it’s vital that lenders, support service providers and intermediaries keep pace with this momentum. As such all links in the homebuying chain need to communicate and work together closer than ever to make this journey as safe, seamless and simple as possible for sellers and purchasers in the year ahead.