The lack of affordable homes coming onto the market has not only meant that it's harder for many to get onto the ladder, but it's also led to property availability hitting a four-year low, with figures showing that the overall housing stock is at its lowest since 2011 – which is why it's so important to get your finances in check.
The figures, from Experian, show that around 250,000 new properties went on sale between July and September this year, some 3% lower than the same period in 2014. Not only that, but the Property Index went on to reveal that this had been driven by a drop in the number of "affordable" homes for sale: the number of properties priced at £100,000 or less fell by 5% over the same period, while property availability in the £100,001 to £250,000 band dropped by 10%.
At the other end of the scale, the number of high-end properties available – those valued at more than £500,000 – has been steadily rising, with the number of homes on the market in the £500,000-£750,000 price bracket having increased by 10% year-on-year, while houses valued at £750,000+ increased by 6%.
However, this certainly won't come as any consolation to buyers locked out of that sector of the market, with first and second-time buyers, particularly those with growing families, likely to be most affected by the shortage of affordable homes, said Andy Wills of Experian CreditExpert.
"With this in mind, it's vital people get into the best possible financial shape to demonstrate they are eligible for a mortgage, starting with a strong credit rating," he added. "Prospective buyers should take time to build a positive credit history and record of money management, so it's important to start preparing as soon as you decide to buy."
As fewer affordable properties come up for sale it can be difficult for prospective buyers to navigate the mortgage market, but Experian CreditExpert has devised these tips to help people get into a good financial position and secure the best property they can afford:
Ready to take the plunge? Then compare mortgages to find one that meets your needs, no matter how pricey a home you can afford.
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