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Become a ‘power buyer’ and secure your dream home

Today’s competitive housing market favours the ‘power buyer’

Originally posted: 28th September, 2021

Highest competition to buy a home and the highest ever prices

Today’s competitive housing market favours the ‘power buyer’; those who’ve already sold their own home, have cash in the bank or are first time buyers with an agreed mortgage.

If you are looking to move it’s important to get yourself in the best possible position, which, if you have a house to sell, means getting your house on the market.

While lack of houses coming to the market in recent months has put some people off marketing their own homes as they worry about their onward move, many people have missed out on the houses they want as competition is so hot and there are power buyers ready and waiting to out-muscle you.

The fierce competition for houses continues, but with signs of a better-balanced autumn market with more houses coming to market helping with buyer choice it’s an opportune time to get yourself in the best possible position if you are looking to move.

The number of new listings in the first two weeks of September is 14% higher than the last two weeks of August, reports Rightmove in its September House Price Index.

The report shows that there is currently the highest competition to buy a home and the highest ever prices.

Report highlights include:

  • The national average price of property coming to the market is at a new all-time high after increasing by 0.3% (+£1,091) this month, to £338,462.
  • This new record high is just £15 above the previous record which was set in July; a sign that prices are stabilising.
  • Hottest ever competition to purchase, with buyer demand per property for sale over double pre-pandemic levels.
  • The rise of the ‘power buyer’ remains – those who have sold their home already, have money in the bank, or are first time buyers with an agreed mortgage, are in a stronger position and are beating those who still need to sell their current home.
  • Initial signs of a better-balanced market in the autumn with more homes coming to market to assist with buyer choice, with the number of new listings in first couple of weeks of September 14% up on the last two weeks of August.

The report states that despite the traditional lull of the summer holidays, fierce competition remains among buyers for the record low amount of available properties that are for sale.

Importantly, for anyone thinking of moving at the moment, the report says that as we enter the busy autumn period, there are signs of more properties being put on the market. Buyers who’ve already sold their own property, have money to buy without selling, or are first time buyers with an agreed mortgage, will be in the best position to secure the best of any additional choice in the autumn.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data comments: “While the holiday-starved took their break over summer, the high ratio of buyer demand to properties for sale means that the property market remains stock-starved despite the summer lull lessening overall activity. Competition among potential buyers to secure their next home is now more than double what it was this time in 2019. To be in pole-position in the race for the best property you need to have greater buying power than the rest of the field. That traditionally would mean deeper pockets to outbid other buyers, but in the most competitive market ever, today’s ‘power buyers’ also need to have already found a buyer for their own property, or to have no need to sell at all. Agents report that buyers who have yet to sell are being out-muscled by buyers who have already sold subject to contract. Proof that you are mortgage-ready or can splash the cash without needing a mortgage will also help you to get the pick of the housing crop.”

Increased choice of properties encourages more current home owners to come to the market if they are wanting an onward purchase, and this greater liquidity is a factor in easing further upwards price pressure.

“This 14% increase in the number of new sellers coming to market in the first half of September is only an early snapshot, but autumn is traditionally a busy period, as those owners who have hesitated thus far during the year see the few months before Christmas as an opportunity to belatedly get their moving plans underway,” says Tim Bannister.

He adds: “The frenetic pace of this year’s market may also have put some potential movers off, but there are signs of a return of some normality. It’s still a strong sellers’ market in most of the country, so those looking to purchase need to do all in their power to maximise their appeal to sellers, who will often have several offers, and will usually choose the one that gives them the best chance of a quick sale. Agents are reporting that the most successful buyers are using tactics such as ‘sell before you buy’ to increase their buying power in this competitive market. Estate agents know the best methods for movers to secure their ideal properties, so it’s well worth discussing your options with them.”

So, if you are looking to move, it’s important to be in the most powerful position to proceed on a purchase. You need to have your finances lined up before making an offer. You need to have greater buying power than those people you are going up against.

How to become a ‘power buyer’

Securing the home you want will be so much easier if you get a sale agreed on your current home before you buy, so put your home on the market now. Many sellers are selecting buyers with sales already agreed.

If you are a first-time buyer get a mortgage in principle; it will save valuable time.

If you are a cash buyer make sure your estate agent knows this; cash buyers who haven’t got a property to sell in order to purchase will be very attractive to sellers.

Act now!

Autumn is traditionally a busy time in the housing market, with people putting their homes up for sale with the aim of starting the New Year in a new house. This should see more choice coming through.

To put yourself in the best position, get your house valued and on the market now.

Book a valuation with Preston Baker Estate Agents now and be in the best position possible for your onward move!