When I began advising on mortgages in 1998, property finance was easy to come by. Regulations were light, a deposit was not always required and it was possible to self-certify your income. No wonder the property market was rising. Fast-forward to Buckinghamshire, 2016, and despite mortgages being harder to come by property prices are still rising. Rising at double the average of the rest the country according to some reports.
Uncertainty over Brexit has damped house prices in some places, most notably prime areas of London that have already enjoyed massive rises in recent years, but apparently not in prime Buckinghamshire. What is it about the area that has driven the recent rises and is it going to continue? I believe that there are two main factors at work here. The Ripple Effect and a Flight to Quality. Let’s look at these in turn.
The Ripple Effect
The Ripple Effect is a phenomenon that occurs when an area become desirable and prices go up. Because new buyers start to be priced out of the area they start to look further afield where properties are more affordable. This, in turn, drives property prices up again in those areas, like ripples spreading out from the original source. London property prices have been outpacing the rest of the country for some time now and there is a general feeling that it may well be overheated. Movers who want a larger property are beginning to look to the Home Counties. Properties in Buckinghamshire offer comparatively good value for what you get for your money, and strong demand from Londoners moving out in search of a better quality of life has already begun to strengthen the market. Which brings us to factor number two, a Flight to Quality.
A Flight to Quality
Let us use the example of Beaconsfield in South Bucks. In times of uncertainty buyers tend to look to solid investments with a strong and proven track record of value. Beaconsfield already enjoys a buoyant property market for very good reasons. A pretty market town with great schools, a short commute to London and easy access to transport links. These aren’t factors that are going to change anytime soon and offer a lot of peace of mind to those in search of quality of life, who also want their investment to maintain value. So is it time to buy in Bucks? Not everyone can be a cash buyer but borrowing is cheap at the moment, with lenders offering two-year fixed rates as low as 1.09%, and ten-year fixed rates as low as 2.49%. So if you have income, deposit, and want a solid investment then the answer may very well be yes.
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