Andrew qualified as a solicitor in 1988 and has been a partner at Colman Coyle since 1991. Andrew undertakes a wide variety of property work from the smallest of studio flats to the grandest of houses. As the UK property market recently experienced record highs in activity prior to the stamp duty deadline, and more uncertainty around mortgage rates, we sit down with Andrew to hear his thoughts and ask a series of questions on his career to date.
According to Hamptons, property sellers during last year’s house price boom made an average profit of £95,360 equal to a 46% gain on the original value. Given your experience, where do you think the UK property market will go in 2022?
The SDLT holiday of 2021 generated unprecedented levels of property transactions. This created a boom market for sellers with the Halifax house price index showing a 9.8 percent increase last year. This is the biggest annual rise since 2004 when prices rose by 12.4%. Now that this has finished most experts predict that the market will settle down particularly in light of higher mortgage rates and a general hike in the cost of living that will have an impact on mortgage affordability. Experts also predict that there will still be house price growth but at nothing like the rate of 2021 largely due to the lack of supply.
Nationwide has recently increased its mortgage rates by up to 0.45% in response to the base rate rise. Do you think further mortgage rises are coming in 2022?
Experts believe that the only way is up, particularly because inflation is at its highest rate for ten years. The Bank of England’s decision to increase the base rate in December 2021 is already having an impact on mortgage rates but current mortgage rate increases will add a relatively small amount to monthly payments for those with variable rate mortgages. There will of course be more of a squeeze on households if there are other rate hikes later in the year. Those with fixed rate mortgages will of course be protected until their fixed term expires.
What made you chose a career in property law?
I joined Colman Coyle in 1987 and it soon became clear that residential conveyancing was the right fit for me, and I have been doing it ever since.
Have you always been interested in the UK property market?
Property has always interested me, and I am always keen to see details of the properties that my clients are buying and selling. As with many people I know, browsing Rightmove has almost become a hobby!
Andrew has a loyal customer base who often return to Colman Coyle. What makes you go that extra mile for clients?
Buying a property is usually the largest financial transaction a person will ever undertake. It can be stressful process at times particularly if a client is involved in a chain where there is so much that is beyond our control. To enable transactions to progress as smoothly as possible, it pays to be highly organised as I will be acting for many clients at any given time, all at different stages of their transactions. This and good communication are the keys in my opinion to successful conveyancing.
Do you have a favourite transaction?
Any transaction that exchanges and completes!