Sheffield solicitor confident that property demand will increase

Matthew Rodgers
Matthew Rodgers
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There has been much discussion in the last week or two regarding the proposed mortgage cap.

With Government ministers bickering over whether this is a good idea, what level it could be brought in at, and indeed whether it is necessary at all, it seems fair to say that the country’s leaders are concerned to alleviate the risk of a perceived housing bubble once again popping.

Indisputable evidence shows that the country’s economy is thankfully in growth once more and the housing market is becoming ever more buoyant, but with the Office for National Statistics’ news in April that house prices increased at an average rate of 9.9 per cent over the previous year and 
potential interest rate rises on the horizon, is there more for homeowners and those trying to get onto the property ladder to worry about than at first it may seem?

Matthew Rodgers of leading Sheffield law firm Bell & Buxton gave his thoughts on the current trends in the market.

“The housing market has without doubt been picking up pace over the last 12 months, and we have seen these changes reflected in the number of transactions handled by our conveyancing department. The Government’s Help to Buy scheme has had some impact in prompting first-time buyers to enter the marketplace, and the new affordability testing has given banks and building societies more confidence to lend responsible sums.

“While this stimulus has been beneficial for those entering the housing market, the Bank of England has indicated that interest rates may rise by the end of 2014 which will clearly have an effect for existing home-owner borrowers whose budgets are still recovering from the effects of austerity measures and may not yet have become stable enough to accommodate such increases.

“Our conveyancing department has noted the effects of this, with home-owners remortgaging in order to lock in fixed rate deals before the interest rate rises take place, or moving to smaller properties where mortgage repayments are less of a burden.

Despite these challenges, we are confident that the demand for property in the UK will continue to increase, and we will shortly be welcoming another experienced solicitor to help us meet the consistently increasing demand for property-related legal services.”

n Bell & Buxton Solicitors are experts in both commercial and personal law. They provide comprehensive legal services in all areas of law likely to be encountered by both business and individuals.

Founded in 1875 they currently have 35 employees and carry accreditations from: Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme; Resolution (formerly the Solicitors’ Family Law Association); Court of Protection Panel Deputy; Panel member for various High Street mortgage lenders; Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS), Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and Solicitors for the Elderly

They have previously been winners at the Yorkshire Lawyer Awards 2006 & 2009 in the Private Client Lawyer category, and have been recommended by the UK Legal 500 since 2008.