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Ep 27 Top tips for moving in 2023

13th March 2023

Stories of rising mortgage rates and concerns about the housing market have created a raft of headlines this year. But what is the truth? In our latest New Homes Podcast, Sonal Haja is joined by three new homes experts – Redrow group sales director James Holmear; Alex Rose, director of corporate and new homes for Zoopla, and Andy Mannion, a new homes mortgage specialist for RSC New Homes – to ask the million-dollar question: Is now a good time to move?

Did negative stories affect the housing market’s seasonal spike?

The market often gets quieter in the few weeks before Christmas with a traditional surge in activity from Boxing Day – and we saw the same thing this year, said Alex. “There was a 200% increase in visits to Zoopla and we’ve seen that maintained throughout 2023 so far, which is brilliant.”

Alex reveals more people than ever have requested valuations on their homes – that being ‘the first step to putting their home on the market – understanding what their home’s worth’. This should translate into buyers as the year progresses.

James adds that while there’s often a hiatus over the Christmas period there’s been great demand from New Year onwards: “I think what we’re seeing is customers taking their time, being measured, they want to get the facts,” he said, before making that final decision.

Redrow | Podcast | Tops tips for moving in 2023 | Episode 27 | Host & guests

What’s the current state of the mortgage market?

Andy explains why the mortgage market is ‘really competitive’ right now, with many different mortgage products available to suits buyers’ varying circumstances. Positives include a downward trend in rates and longer period mortgages, and he adds: “Lenders are really helping with affordability now as well.”

It’s not looking quite so good on the rental scene, according to Alex, who goes into detail about the last two years and how many landlords have chosen to exit the market for various reasons. “We’ve seen a really big rise in the cost of renting,” he says, “about 12% year on year. But probably more worrying is the fact that the amount of homes available to rent is nearly half as much as the five-year average.”

For those torn between renting and buying, they may find the costs lower, he explains, if they can save for that mortgage deposit. And even that is looking easier than ever, adds Andy, with schemes like Deposit Unlock.

Redrow | Podcast | Tops tips for moving in 2023 | Episode 27 | Customers searching for a home

What is Deposit Unlock – and is this the only help available?

“Deposit Unlock is a 95% mortgage scheme that’s offered on new-build properties, and it gives lenders the confidence to lend at 95% (because) it’s a scheme that’s backed by housebuilders,” said Andy.

That, and mortgage period terms up to 40 years, can make a huge difference and puts first-time buyers in a really good position.

James discusses a variety of ways Redrow can help people purchase a home, whatever their situation, ‘if you’re looking for that little bit of assistance’. For instance, he said: “If you’re already in a home and you’re looking to buy a new Redrow home, we have a great scheme called Help to Sell.”

Redrow | Podcast | Tops tips for moving in 2023 | Episode 27 | Customers in a customer experience centre

Is now a good time to commit to buying a home?

“It’s a great time, as ever,” advises Andy. “The great benefit of using a new homes mortgage specialist such as ourselves is that, if rates do change between the time you commit to buy a new home and the time you move in, we can always keep an eye and review the market to make sure you are on the most competitive rate.”

Changes in interest rates and base rates don’t necessarily mean mortgage rates have gone up, says James. In fact, according to Andy, rates have reduced and continue to go down this year.

While the message is always to seek specialist advice, James adds: “It’s always about your own personal set of circumstances, but I think a lot of people would be surprised if they did come and see us…they’ll see that there are lots of options for them.”

Redrow | Podcast | Tops tips for moving in 2023 | Episode 27 | Energy efficient Redrow homes

Energy-efficient homes can save you money – and secure you a better mortgage deal

“People are starting to understand what a more energy-efficient home means, and in very simple terms you can save money on your energy bills,” said Alex. With thousands to be saved each year, research reveals lenders are starting to factor that in. Green mortgages, adds Andy, are available on energy-efficient homes with lenders generally willing to lend more on an affordability basis because they are cheaper to run.

Getting an existing home up to the same energy-efficient standard as a new-build can cost more than £70,000, says James, who goes on to explain how Redrow isn’t just meeting eco regulations for its homes but is determined to ‘go further and faster now’. Look out for our next podcast, which will explore this in more detail, including our introduction of air source heat pumps as standard.

Redrow | Podcast | Tops tips for moving in 2023 | Episode 27 | Customers moving into a new home

Top tips on buying a new home

The number one tip is to seek out an expert to provide the best advice and to discover what your options are, our panel agrees. “Come and speak to a specialist, come to a Redrow development, speak to one of our sales team,” said James. “They can really look into your circumstances and work out how we can help you buy a home and, equally, we’ve got people like Andy who can give some great advice when it comes to a mortgage.”

Meet the guests
James Holmear - Group Sales Director
James Holmear
Group Sales Director
Andy Mannion - New Homes Mortgage Specialist
Andy Mannion
New Homes Mortgage Specialist
Alex Rose - New Homes Director
Alex Rose
New Homes Director

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