It seems that mortgage approvals have started to improve. Following five months of declines following the mini-budget, mortgage approvals increased by nearly 10% in February 2023 (Twindig, 2023). Figures from the Bank of England have shown that home loan approvals have risen from 39,647 in January to 43,536 in February – reversing a downward trend in place since August 2022 (The Guardian, 2023).
In a sign of the turbulent conditions seen during Liz Truss’s brief premiership last autumn, the Bank said net mortgage lending dropped from £2bn in January to £0.7bn in February, the lowest since April 2016 apart from when the economy was locked down during the pandemic. Whilst mortgage approvals remain 34% below their ten-year average, the increase in February suggests that the worst may be in the past (Twindig, 2023).
Housebuilder Bellway has recently reported that homebuyer demand is increasing in 2023 and has hinted that normal seasonal home buying patterns are evolving again (Twindig, 2023).
Although the housing market can be an unpredictable climate, instructing a property solicitor early and appropriate preparation is key to making a sale transaction as painless and as quick as possible. The following key points should be undertaken as early as possible, even if a buyer is yet to be found:
- Instruct your solicitor to prepare the contract pack ASAP in readiness for a buyer.
- Provide all necessary ID and Proof of Address to your solicitor at the outset.
- Inform your solicitor of any unusual aspects of the property or title. Many title defects can be resolved early on.
- Gather and provide certificates/guarantees and any other documents provided at your time of purchase, works done etc to your solicitor.
If the property is affected by a Management Company, whether freehold or leasehold, the Management pack (that has to be provided to any buyer) should be ordered and paid for ASAP. The pack can often take several weeks to come from the Management Company.
Things to consider under unusual circumstances:
- If selling on behalf of a deceased have the death certificate AND Grant of probate ready.
- If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of a sale due to a relationship breakdown it is helpful to be on amicable terms and to agree any split of sale proceeds ahead of the sale taking place.
Other handy tips:
- Try not to pre-agree any completion timeframes to avoid disappointment.
- Try not to make any false promises to a potential buyer unless you are prepared to act on them should the need arise (for example agreeing to split any sale and purchase and move out should your buyer be ready to complete before any related purchase that you might have).
- In readiness for completion ensure the loft, garage and shed are cleared. Don’t leave behind anything that hasn’t been agreed to be left at the property.
Contact our expert property team for further information on how we can better assist prospective clients with the sale of their property.
Twindig. (2023). Mortgage approvals leap in February.
The Guardian. (2023). UK mortgage approvals rise for first time in six months.