Martin Roberts shares tip to ‘save a third’ on homes – ‘might be something you can afford’

Martin Roberts discusses the rise in house prices

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Property expert Martin Roberts appeared on GB News this morning to discuss the recent surge in house prices and shift in buyer sentiment. Martin, who co-presents BBC One property auction series Homes Under the Hammer, said Britons are moving out of cities and settling in more rural areas where they get more for their money. He said: “A lot of people are moving out, maybe from the cities and saying, ‘I’m going to take my £200,000 that I’m going to get for my flat, I’m going to buy something with a bit of garden and a bit more space’.

“I think people have also decided ‘life is too short, you never know what is around the corner’ and therefore I’m going to live my dreams now.

“So you are seeing big growth in countryside properties, rural properties and properties by the coast.

“It’s a factor of all sorts of things.

“We can’t underestimate the mental change that’s gone on as a result of us all being locked down.”

Liam Halligan, business editor at GB News, later discussed Halifax’s latest house price index.

The new figures suggested that house prices had dropped – 0.5 percent in June, the first monthly fall since January.

However, average house prices are still more than £21,000 higher than this time last year.

The report also saw two Midlands regions and Greater London see slightly lower annual price gains compared to May.

Liam said: “It’s very interesting because in May 2020 to May 2021, prices in London only went up two percent and in the southeast they went up seven percent but in Wales they went up 12 percent, in Northern Ireland they went up by 11.5 percent, in Scotland they went up by ten percent because of this post-Covid trend of people wanting to move out of London and distance-working…

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“There’s been so many bad things about this Covid pandemic, but one good thing about it is it might be that it spreads wealth around a little bit more because fewer people feel they have to live near the big cities so that spreads out the house price growth.”

Earlier this week, HSBC launched a mortgage with its lowest-ever interest rate of 0.94 percent.

The two-year fixed mortgage pips the previous cheapest rattan the market which was being offered by TSB at 0.99 percent.

However, buyers will need to have a hefty deposit ready to go in order to take advantage of the low interest rate.

Those with equity or deposits of at least 40 percent of their home’s value can take advantage of the offer.

GB News co-host Mercy Muroki asked whether banks could make it “easier” for buyers to get on the ladder.

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Martin said: “Obviously there is a help-to-buy scheme which was encouraging people to buy new-build properties.

“That has also been recently added to with ‘help-to-build’.

“Here’s a random thought: Why don’t you build your own house?

“You’re going to save a third on the cost of actually buying one that someone else has built for you.

“So that might be something that you could then afford.

“I’m not talking about necessarily nailing in bits of wood and things but actually engaging people to build a house for you.”

Martin also explained that interest rates are a lot lower compared to when he bought his first property, despite some people not being able to get their foot on the ladder.

He continued: “When it comes down to you seeing this dream of owning a home disappearing out of sight, just remember about interest rates.

“We are in a world where interest rates are unbelievably historically low.

“For instance, I’m old, okay? When I bought my first house – I’ll take you back to a time that you won’t believe existed – I locked myself into a fixed rate mortgage which I thought was a good deal at 15 percent.

“There are mortgages out there at the moment that are less than one percent.”

Martin said he understood people are “struggling” to get on the property ladder due to the recent spike in house prices, but that this has been counteracted by low interest rates.

He added: “Although prices of houses have gone up considerably, hopefully that is slightly counteracted by the fact that if you can get a mortgage and you are able to find a property you can afford, the interest rate you’re going to pay on that mortgage is lower than it’s ever been in all our lifetimes.”

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