Hemel Hempstead used to be a small market town but after World War 2, a huge influx of Londoners moved in and a significant building programme began. Nowadays it is a thriving town which is popular with commuters due to its easy access to the M1, A41 and M25. This has traditionally kept house prices high in the area and buy to let landlords happy as young locals who cannot afford to buy a house choose to rent one in their home town instead.
With many workplaces welcoming staff back to office-based working following a period of enforced home-working during the height of the pandemic, people are recognising once again the importance of living within easy commuting distance of their workplace. Hemel Hempstead is an ideal base for London workers, with its mass of transport links including easy motorway, rail and airport access.
Help To Buy
Many schemes operate in Hemel Hempstead to help first-time buyers onto the housing ladder, such as Share To Buy allows prospective buyers to take out a mortgage for an affordable share of a property whilst paying rent on the remainder.
Recently however, a new trend is emerging which appears to suggest that property prices in Hemel Hempstead are falling for the first time since 2017 with average sold prices in Hemel Hempstead down by 2% on the previous year. This could be good news for people wishing to buy in the area although with an overall average price of £406,757 it still isn’t a “cheap” place to buy and a price crash is very unlikely due to the town’s popularity with commuters.
With a wide range of property types available for sale in the town, conveyancing in Hemel Hempstead is a big business with many local solicitors and online licenced conveyancing specialists such as Sam Conveyancing keen to support both buyers and sellers in progressing sales in an expedient fashion.
Reasons For The Shift
The main reason for the shift is one of practicality. The Stamp Duty Holiday ended in June 2021, so a slowdown across the whole of the UK housing market was expected after this point, with the panic buying of March and April of that year ending as quickly as it began.
With buyers now needing to pay Stamp Duty at the full rate for both first and subsequent homes, combined with rising mortgage interest rates, they are keener to negotiate on house prices to compensate for these extra costs. This is requiring sellers to be more realistic about their property values if they wish to achieve a rapid sale.
Cost of living concerns and rising inflation rates are also causing people living in larger properties to consider downsizing where this is practical and this is increasingly reflected in the statistics which show that detached homes are taking longer to sell now than they have in previous years.
The shifting landscape of the Hemel Hempstead property market could be starting to present more opportunities to buyers for the first time in 7 years. Competition is increasing and sellers are more open to negotiating on price, so for people considering making the move onto the property market, this may be the right time to think about buying.
Hemel Hempstead offers very attractive amenities such as a local hospital, good schools, excellent transport links and plenty of recreational activities to partake in. It is a thriving community which is continuing to expand and develop, representing a good long term investment for home buyers and landlords.