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Buyer's market as property prices decrease

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Our ‘topsy-turvy’ housing market seems to be continuing after a new survey from RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) showed that house prices are beginning to fall amidst a stalling economy.

According to RICS, since July there has been an 8% increase in the number of members reporting a fall in house prices, the first recorded dip in 12 months.

Home buyers appear to be taking a more cautious stance as supply of houses for sale outstripped demand from buyers for the second month in a row, and lower prices may be common for the remaining months of the year.

The situation is not helped by the shortage of mortgage products available to those with small deposits as a percentage of the value of the property. This is leading to an imbalance in the market in favour of those buyers able and willing to buy.

But it seems to me that with house prices falling, and VAT set to go up in January next year, now is the perfect time for movers to buy their next home. Sellers are also likely to be more amenable to offers, since the value of their home is at risk of decreasing the longer it remains on the market.

Buying a new home is also the perfect time to make or amend a Will. But anyone who watched the Panorama exposé recently about the unregulated Will-writing industry will have been shocked by the horror stories shown.

The Panorama investigation emphasised the severe risks to people who use unregulated, unqualified and uninsured will writers. Unlike solicitors, will writers are not robustly regulated by law.

I would always recommend instructing a qualified Wills solicitor, who is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, to ensure that your most prized and valuable assets are protected in the long run.

For further information on Stephensons’ Residential Property and Wills and Probate services, please call 0175 321 6399.

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