Understanding your property options

Phillips George
30 April 2024
Estate Agency | Selling

Jamie Vardy


By understanding mortgage interest rates and getting a grip of our finances, we can make the right decisions to get on track.

Jamie Vardy’s exuberant celebrations as Leicester celebrated automatic promotion to the Premier League went a long way to heal the pain for Leicester City fans, as the spectacular bounce back helped them forget the pain of the previous season and demotion from the Premier League. We humans are resilient and have a great knack for quickly forgetting the setbacks as we try to focus on the positives, and so, Leicester City fans can enjoy their day with unbridled joy.

What has football got to do with it?

Just as Leicester City made the right decisions on and off the pitch this season, we try to make the right financial decisions for our families as we navigate the world of interest rates and house prices.  As mortgage rates have increased slightly over the past week or so, it can safely be said it was not what we were hoping for.

While Leicester City FC have bounced back to the top tier of English football in some style, no one would have banked on it, and just as we would not have put our house on it that Jamie Vardy and co would do so spectacularly well, it is fair to say that it is nothing less than the team deserves.

Equally, it would not be wise to gamble on mortgage rates going down, despite some of the rosier predictions from the banks earlier this year.

Mortgage rates graph from the BBC

In this BBC graph we can see that mortgage rates have remained high, but importantly the general trend is no longer upward. This can give us some confidence to be able to plan our budgets better, to sell and move on.

The average time to sell a house in England is 34 days, back to normal after the frenzied activity of the last few years when it took only 22 days on average. Of course, higher mortgage rates affect demand and we will see how the base interest rate changes when The Bank of England next convenes on 9 May.

Before you put your house on the market

Spending a little time and money on dressing or preparing your home for sale can reap dividends and help sell your home quicker. It may be stating the obvious, but if your home is in a move-in condition it will be more attractive to buyers. A coat of paint here, a declutter there, a tidy garden can all have a positive impact on your property’s attractiveness. These preparations become even more important in a buyers’ market. Our experienced estate agents can help you identify where your efforts and spend can make the biggest impact.

Much to do about money

If you, your friends or family are having difficulty making your mortgage payments or just want to reduce the burden of your mortgage commitment, make sure you are doing everything you can to be in control. First and foremost, speak to a mortgage advisor. They really can help you to make the most of your money. Here are just a few things they might suggest:

  • Make overpayments. If you have savings and your interest payments are greater than the interest on those savings, it might be the right time to pay off a chunk of your mortgage
  • Move to an interest only mortgage. Although it is perhaps not the best idea to have an interest only mortgage on your first home, it could be a way of easing the burden for a while.
  • Extend the life of your mortgage. Although the typical mortgage is over 25 years, lenders are offering mortgages over 30 and even 40 years, which can make repayments easier.

Before you take any action, Phillips George always recommends you take advice from a mortgage professional. We would be happy to recommend some trusted mortgage advisors we have worked with over the years.

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Clare Phillips
Clare Phillips, Partner
Clare has been in the industry since 1998. Her career started as an administrator and she has worked through each role in estate agency from negotiator, sales progressor, valuer, manager and culminating in opening Phillips George as a co-founding partner. Through Clare’s career she has obtained professional qualifications with both NAEA (national association of estate agents) and ARLA (association of residential letting agents) to ensure that she delivers a first class service to all of her clients. Clare’s favourite part of estate agency and lettings is helping customers achieve their goals and making the process as smooth as possible for them.