Everyone at Fox Estates would like to wish you all the very best Christmas you can possibly have.
Let's hope that 2022 is kind to us all.
Please take care.
The Bank of England has increased interest rates to 0.25% in a bid to rein in rampant inflation despite mounting fears over the impact of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.
Members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted eight to one to raise rates from the historic low of 0.1%.
It comes as the pressure has been building on the Bank to bring the soaring cost of living under control, with official figures this week showing the Consumer Prices Index jumped to 5.1% - the highest level for more than a decade.
In the minutes of the decision, the Bank warned that inflation could now peak at 6% in April, while it also downgraded growth outlook to 0.6% in the fourth quarter from a previous forecast of 1%.
It said: "Most of the committee judged that an immediate small increase in the Bank Rate was warranted."
"The decision at this meeting was finely balanced because of the uncertainty around Covid developments. There was some value in waiting for further information on the degree to which Omicron was likely to escape the protection of current vaccines and on the initial economic effects of this new wave. There was, however, also a strong case for tightening monetary policy now, given the strength of current underlying inflationary pressures and in order to maintain price stability in the medium term."
Rates have been at 0.1% since March last year, when the Bank moved to prop up the economy in the early days of the pandemic.
The rise marks the first rates increase since August 2018 and just the third since the financial crisis.
The Bank of England has announced it plans to relax mortgage lending rules next year.
It wants to remove a rule that means borrowers have to prove they can meet payments on their lender's variable rate if interest rates go up to 3%.
It will consult mortgage lenders and other industry parties early next year about withdrawing the rule.
As a general rule, the housing market always slows down during the winter months, especially December. From Boxing Day onwards, it starts to speed up again.
The New Year is usually one of the busiest times for agents and this year is expected to be no different.
First-time buyers hoping to get on the property ladder next year may be disappointed as Zoopla predicts property prices will rise by 3% over the course of 2022.
But for those looking to sell their house, January could be the ideal time to list their property as it's statistically the best month to sell. The weather is improving, the evenings are lighter and there are no holidays or events in the spring that have the potential to be financially challenging. This makes spring the perfect time to think about the market as people begin to think about future events such as the enrollment into schools and creating stability in lieu of the winter months ahead.
A fast internet connection is now one of the most important factors for homebuyers.
When asked for the single most important factors for homebuyers:
23% said the size of the property
20% said broadband quality
18% said the number of bedrooms
10% said the age of the property is
9% said transport links
In many cases, customers feel that good internet is a 'must have'. This has come about because of the pandemic, where people began working from home so good internet connection was vital. A good internet connection can potentially increase the value of a property.