There has been some uncertainty with the housing market in these last few months, with interest rates and energy price rises. However, Yorkshire based housebuilder, Stonebridge Homes, have seen a positive increase in sales in the last few weeks, providing reassurance to housebuilders and buyers alike that things maybe aren’t as bad as what is portrayed in the news.
We spoke to Chris Kelly, Head of Sales at Stonebridge Homes, who shared his views on the current housing market.
What has been happening recently with the housing market?
House prices have risen in the last couple of years. In the UK, we saw an increase in mortgage rates in October last year, where interest rates spiked to averaging over 6%, tripling from the previous 2% 12 months earlier. However, rates have since stabilised with some lenders now offering products around the 4% mark, and it’s likely that they’ll fall to pre-Covid levels according to the IMF.
Do people seem worried about buying at this current time?
I think there was a lot of scaremongering on the news at the start of the year, and there still is to an extent, however I think people are starting to realise that it isn’t as bad as it has been made out to be. Although interest rates are still higher than they were this time last year, they are starting to go down, and people are starting to acclimatise to the higher energy costs. We were forecast to be in recession, and although we’ve only narrowly avoided it, the economy is doing ok.
I can remember I was on a site just after Christmas and I was talking to a potential customer, and she said to me: “You turn on the news for two minutes and it gives you 20 reasons not to buy now, but I want to buy now.”
People buying at this time are committed, they understand the mortgage rates and they feel in a comfortable position to buy now.
Why do you think Stonebridge have had a good few months of sales?
I think there are a number of factors as to why sales are good, the main one being because we have a brilliant product, that hasn’t been affected due to the current economic crisis. The costs of materials and labour have increased, and some companies may be taking steps to strip back their specification in order to cut costs, but we aren’t doing that. We haven’t altered our high specification, how we build, the quality of the build; it’s all exactly the same as before.
Owners of new build houses are saving on average £3,100 per year in energy costs compared to owners of older houses too, which is another reason why I think people are choosing to buy new.
All our new homes are built to a high specification, combining modern materials and building techniques with the latest technology, fixtures and fittings. And it’s not just our product that makes Stonebridge stand out. We also understand that location is one of, if not the most important factor when moving home, which is why our developments have been specifically chosen in some of the most sought-after areas.
So I think it’s a combination of all of the above as to why sales at Stonebridge aren’t being affected throughout this time.
What incentives/schemes do Stonebridge Homes have in place to help buyers at this time?
Here at Stonebridge Homes, we have a number of incentives to help people buy their new home, whether it be first time buyers, second steppers or those looking to downsize.
You can buy a home via the fantastic new Deposit Unlock Scheme. Deposit Unlock enables you to buy a new build home with just a 5% deposit. Both first time buyers and home movers can take advantage of this scheme using a maximum mortgage of £750,000, giving more people the opportunity to buy their own home.
Another way to buy is through Assisted Move, meaning you can reserve a new Stonebridge home even if your current home isn’t on the market yet. We will take care of everything; arranging valuations, dealing with Estate Agents, managing the administration and keeping you informed of progress along the way.
We also offer Part Exchange at many of our developments, which is ideal if you want to move to a bigger home and have a house to sell. If your current house is worth at least 30% less than the price of the new home, then we could be the guaranteed buyer, making moving quicker and stress-free.
We are here to help get people moving so pop into any site to talk to a Sales Adviser and see how we can help, as we can provide bespoke offers that reflect your circumstances. We also have independent mortgage advisers who can give you advice on products that will suit your needs.
Are you currently recruiting in the Sales department?
Yes, we’re currently recruiting sales advisers to work throughout our Yorkshire region, and now is a great time to join Stonebridge! We haven’t put our growth plans on hold, and we have three more sites opening this year. If you’re enthusiastic, passionate about sales, have great customer service skills, have a general interest in the housebuilding industry and are looking for a career with the potential to earn a great wage, then please get in touch on email@example.com.