House prices are expected to fall further in 2011, and mortgage lending is expected to be at its lowest level for 30 years, but a survey out today suggests two thirds of consumers think next year could be the right time to buy a property.According to the Building Societies Association (BSA), many people believe the current property downturn presents buying opportunities. Is this just another example of our blind faith in the housing market – or are these investors on to something?
"Much depends on what the motivation is for buying. If you are expecting a sharp increase in value, then you are going to be disappointed. All the indications are that this is not going to happen for the next year or so. At best prices will be flat, and they may even go down over the year."
So why would people want to buy into a falling market? "Conversely this could be a good time for those either looking to get onto the property ladder or upsize."
For those looking to move into a bigger home, falling house prices are not a disaster. Although they will get less for the home they are selling, they will save on a property they are buying, and proportionately this will be a bigger saving. But for the same reason sliding property prices are not good news for those downsizing.
"This is definitely a buyers' market and is likely to remain so for the time being. Those who are in the position to buy a property should certainly make the most of this opportunity, and if you plan to live there for a while – or even hold a buy-to-let property as a long term investment – then modest price falls over the next year shouldn't make much of a difference."
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