Buying a home is the most important transaction anyone will undertake in their lives, and yet with levels of home ownership falling, there is a very different relationship between younger generations and the prospect of getting on the property ladder than existed in earlier eras.
So what does the current market hold for would-be homeowners, and how does this impact the way that people who manage to make the leap are perceived by their peers?
The cost of borrowing is low, but there are other challenges
The good news at the moment is that current mortgage rates are favorable for those looking to secure a loan to buy a home. With lower levels of interest to pay, there has never been a better time to look out for offers from lenders.
This also means that it is something of a sellers’ market at the moment, because there is more demand from buyers who have managed to secure mortgages than there are properties to satisfy them, creating more competition and allowing house prices to climb upwards. In turn those who have homes to sell can recoup more cash to plow into their next property purchase.
The downside is that those who are still renting need to jump through lots of hoops to prove to lenders that they are good prospects for a long term mortgage arrangement. This means saving up large deposits while still juggling skyrocketing rental rates during a period of international crisis and disruption not seen for generations.
So for those lucky enough to be in a position to get approved for a mortgage, the low rates will be a blessing. For everyone else, it will seem like home ownership is still a pipe dream that remains out of reach due to circumstances beyond their control.
Technology is revolutionizing the sales process
From browsing property listings in specific areas to applying for mortgages without needing to visit a bricks and mortar building, various digital solutions have long been part of the real estate market for domestic and commercial customers alike.
However, the obstacles thrown up by the pandemic mean that this industry has, like many others, been forced to adopt tech solutions more rapidly than might otherwise have been the case. Virtual viewings and online open house events, as well as video meetings with everyone from real estate agents to haulage and storage firms, have become the norm.
Even as the threat of COVID-19 subsides and restrictions on movement are reduced, most experts expect that the trends for digitalization will remain in place. This has been a game-changer and arguably makes it easier for home buyers to broaden their search for prospective properties.
Prices will continue to climb
In spite of all the uncertainty and the issues involved with securing a mortgage mentioned earlier, housing prices are projected to maintain their upward trajectory.
Growth may not occur as quickly as in past years, but there is no sign of the market shrinking, which means that buying a house remains financially sensible.