Phil Spencer on property prices and top tips for home movers

Views: Phil Spencer thinks a ‘bottleneck’ exists in the UK’s housing market due to low listing levels

We asked Phil about property prices, tips for first-time buyers and the thorny subject of overdevelopment in certain parts of the country.

Home moving

While the process of moving home ‘should be an exciting process’, problems typically crop up because it is a ‘complex process with many moving parts.’

To ensure the home moving process runs smoother, Phil said his ultimate top tip for movers centred on ‘thorough planning and preparation.’

He said: ‘People need to focus on the task and be completely dedicated to it, but this can be tough when a buyer has a full-time job.’ 

Phil said that while he has not actually moved home a lot, when he does, it is always well-planned and thought out. 

He said he takes ‘gentle time’ thinking about a move, and doesn’t leave anything to the last minute. 

However, he did get a shock when buying his latest home in Hampshire around seven years ago, when a lady in a shop pointed out to him that stamp duty rates had suddenly been hiked. ‘It made me really stop and think about how much it would cost me to move in total’, Phil said.

Outlook for the property market

While conceding that no one has a crystal ball when it comes to the outlook for the property market, Phil said he thought low listing levels were causing a ‘bottleneck’ in the market. 

In terms of prices, Phil said that while he did not believe the market would ‘pop’, ‘it does need to calm down.’ He added: ‘We are in the eye of the storm at the moment.’ 

Amid the rising cost of living, Phil said that over the next six months, more people will be forced to stop ad really think about whether they can afford to move home or not. 

Tips for first-time buyers

Phil said that while the market remains tough for first-time buyers, there are steps they can take when planning to and buying a property.

He says that before buying a home, first-time buyers should ‘tread very carefully’ and look to purchase for the long term. 

‘First-time buyers need to think about how their life is likely to pan out in five to seven years time, and consider the type of property they really need and want’, he said.

He also recommended, where possible, buying a home which comes with the opportunity to extend or add value to. ‘Buying in a location that will change for the better while you are living there is another important consideration’, Phil added.

And, for those who have found their dream first home, Phil recommended getting a long fixed-term mortgage secured as soon as possible. 

Property development in the UK

‘We do have a housing shortage’, Phil said when discussing the subject of new-builds.

He said that in his many years of being an expert, no government of the time had ever successfully reached its housing target. 

Phil said he found it ‘frustrating’ that developers can sit on land they have planning permission to build on and do nothing with it for years. 

As a solution, he thinks such sites could, for instance, be used as ‘temporary housing to help vulnerable people.’ He thinks modular homes could be a great way to help people in need quickly with housing. 

What’s next for Phil? 

Phil is on Love It or List It duties with Kirsty Allsopp at present, but will be working on new Location, Location, Location shows after Easter. 

He is also ‘madly developing’ new shows for Channel 4, not all of which will be linked to property.