UK property asking prices up almost 3% month on month

Boards smlThe price of property coming to the market in the UK increases by a substantial 2.9% or £8,324 in January, hitting a new record of £299,287 and surpassing the record set in October 2015 by over £2,700.

Housing demand is higher than ever as the latest Rightmove report records that traffic to the property portal hits record levels, with visits up nearly 20% year on year in January.

It says that there has been an encouraging 5% uplift in new properties coming to the market compared to same time last year resulting in the highest total number of newly listed properties at this time of year since the 2008 credit crunch.

The firm is also predicting that 2016 will be the year of the first time buyer as Government initiatives and a low interest rate outlook are now aligning when there is more property choice for first time buyers, with a 10% year on year jump in the number of two beds or fewer coming to the market.

‘The new year’s market has hit the ground running in many locations, continuing last year’s momentum and resulting in the price of property coming to the market hitting a new high. Many agents reported high numbers of sales in November and December and properties selling more quickly, so it’s encouraging to see signs of replenishment of property, especially in the first time buyer sector,’ said Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst.

‘However, in spite of the apparent veneer of market buoyancy, those thinking of putting their property up for sale need to avoid being too optimistic with their initial asking price, as most buyers are still understandably being very selective about their future home,’ he added.

The previous record price high was set in October 2015 but this has now been exceeded by £2,738, pushing the average new seller asking price to £299,287.

Shipside pointed out that a continuing feature of the recovering market over the past few years has been the supply of property coming to market failing to keep pace with demand. There are now signs of fresh supply increasing with the volume of new properties coming to the market is at the highest level since the credit crunch of 2008.

However, he added that it should be noted that this is patchy by region with only four regions above the 5% year on year average uplift, namely London, South East, South West and Yorkshire and the Humber. In the West Midlands new stock is actually down by 0.3% and Wales and the North West have seen an uplift of 1% or less, restricting fresh choice for buyers in these regions.

‘While more properties are coming to market there is little anecdotal evidence of tax shy landlords selling up. It is more likely made up of additional first-time sellers who are either hoping to bag a buy to let investor before the April stamp duty hike, or joining others who are deciding that 2016 is their year to trade up. Those trading up are no doubt encouraged by the stable interest rate outlook reassuringly communicated straight from the Governor’s mouth,’ Shipside explained.

The sector seeing the highest volume of new properties coming to the market is the typical first time buyer property with two bedrooms or fewer, up by 10% this month compared to the same month last year. It is suggested 2016 could be the year of the first-time buyer encouraged by low interest rates, initiatives such as Help to Buy, and buy to let investors facing increasingly adverse taxes.

‘For the second month running the highest increase in supply of homes coming to market is properties with two bedrooms or fewer, typically the target purchase of first time buyers or buy to let investors,’ said Shipside.

‘There is a 10% uplift in new supply compared to the same period in 2015, meaning all regions have more fresh choice in this sector than at this time last year. Regions outperforming the national average with over 10% more newly-marketed homes with two bedrooms or fewer are London, East, South East, South West, West Midlands, and Yorkshire and the Humber, and if this trend continues the increased competition among new sellers may help to temper price rises,’ he pointed out.

‘More and more agents are reporting a healthy return in first time buyer numbers, and with the cards increasingly stacked in their favour 2016 could prove to be the year of the first time buyer,’ he added.

Source: Property Wire

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9.5% price rise in 2015 takes average home to over £208,000 says Halifax

halifax-logoPrices in the three months to the end of 2015 were 9.5 per cent higher than in the same three month period a year earlier – and the average price of a UK home is now £208,286 according to the Halifax index.

“There remains a substantial gap between demand and supply with the latest figures showing a further decline in the number of properties available for sale. This situation is unlikely to change significantly in the short-term, resulting in continuing upward pressure on prices” says Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis.

Homes are also becoming less affordable, as the house price to earnings ratio rose to 5.58 in December from 5.49 in November and 5.10 at the end of 2014, taking it to its highest level since January 2008, according to the data.

However, price growth in the final quarter of last year was slightly lower than in the preceding three months.

Source: Estate Agent Today

Property prices rise again, with London average reaching £500,000

House moneyProperty prices in England and Wales increased by 1% in September, taking the average house price to £186,553, according to the latest Land Registry data.

Year on year prices have increased by 5.3% but in London it is much higher at 9.6% year on year and 1.8% month on month and the average price in the capital city is now a record £499,997.

The North East saw the only annual price decrease of 0.3% and also saw the only monthly price decrease with a fall of 0.3% as well.

But sales are down. From April 2014 to July 2014 there was an average of 78,330 sales per month but in the same months a year later, the figure was 71,766.

The data also shows that the number of properties sold in England and Wales for over £1 million in July 2015 was down 9% year on year and in London it was down 16%.

More than 93,000 residential property sales were lodged for registration in September.

The most expensive sale recorded last month was in Knightsbridge, London, where a flat at One Hyde Park sold for £17.5m.

The cheapest sale was in Pendle, Lancashire, at £12,000.

Analysts at Capital Economics questioned whether London would maintain such strong growth rates, as buyers are priced out and stamp duty changes take their toll. Under new stamp duty legislation, homes costing between £925,001 and £1.5m are subject to an additional 10pc bill, and properties above £1.5m have been hit with an extra 12pc charge.

“The breakdown of transactions by price range is revealing, highlighting a fragmented market in London with higher value properties struggling to sell. There were 288 £2m-plus purchases in July 2015, compared with 370 in the same month last year,” said Jonathan Adams, director of central London estate agency Napier Watt.

UK property sales up to 16 month high, says RICS report

rics_logo-300x150Property sales in the UK have picked up across the country, reaching a 16 month high, according to the latest index report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

There were also further price increases nationwide in September, a modest improvement in mortgage availability but no improvement in the supply situation with new buyer demand continuing to outweigh instructions to sell.

Across the UK, agreed sales rose at the quickest pace since May 2014, with 14% more chartered surveyors seeing a rise. This is a 16 month high and the fifth consecutive month that sales have increased.

The North, East Anglia and Scotland posted the sharpest rises in activity over the month with the East Midlands the only region to see a material drop in sales albeit following an increase in the region in August.

The report says that the stronger sales trend in the UK is broadly reflective of an upturn in demand which has been visible in the data since the early spring. Indeed, the number of new buyer enquiries rose for a sixth consecutive month across the country with 18% more chartered surveyors reporting a rise in demand.

The pattern being seen by chartered surveyors echoes recent lending data including that highlighted by the Bank of England, showing mortgage approvals at an 18 month high and up 12% compared to a year ago.

As the availability of mortgage finance appears to be improving, the average ‘perceived’ LTV ratio captured by respondents to our survey edged up to 79.3% with first time buyers seeing credit conditions relax most noticeably over the month, the report also reveals.

Although activity is picking up, the ongoing lack of new instructions and the resulting limited stock on the market continue to be an issue for the sustainability of the market. The number of new instructions has fallen in 13 of the last 14 months.

RICS says that it is significant that 40% of respondents feel the biggest factor behind the negative trend in new instructions is the lack of stock already for sale which is deterring would be movers as they struggle to find a suitable property to move on to. The next most cited influence was economic uncertainty, followed by stretched affordability.

As a result of the persistent supply demand imbalance, the national house price indicator continues to rise strongly which is likely to be reflected in key house price indices over coming months and into the first half of 2016, according to the report.

In the lettings market, tenant demand increased once more continuing the pattern seen by respondents since December 2014, and while new landlord instructions increased slightly for the third month in a row, they were still significantly outstripped by tenant demand.

Indeed, over the next 12 months, chartered surveyors are forecasting rents to rise by 3% at the headline level.

Source: RICS

 

Price of flats rising faster than houses, says Halifax

halifax-logoOver the last decade the price of flats has risen much faster than the price of houses, according to research for the Halifax.

While flats have risen by 60% in value over that time period, the average house has only gone up by 34%, it said. Detached homes have seen the smallest price rise, at 21%.

At the same time the Halifax said the rise in UK house prices in the year to September slowed to 8.6%, from 9% previously. Between July and September, prices went up by 2% compared with the previous quarter.

On a monthly basis, the Halifax said prices in September dropped by 0.9% compared with August. As a result the value of the average house or flat in the UK has fallen to £202,859.

uk_house_price_chart

Last week, rival lender Nationwide said that house prices rose by just 3.8% in the year to September. It also said that the gap between prices in London and the rest of the UK had reached a record high.

The relative popularity of flats has fallen over the past decade, according to the Halifax research. In 2005, 20% of all property sales were flats. Ten years on, that figure has fallen to 17%. Price rises have therefore been driven by flats in the capital.

“The national increase in flat prices has been led by London where flats account for roughly one in two property sales; substantially higher than for the country as a whole,” said Martin Ellis, Halifax’s chief economist.

Source: BBC News

Housing market confidence returns as sales rise

Couple browsingResidential property sales are at their highest level since 2009, reflecting renewed confidence in the housing market.

The latest data from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) revealed another monthly increase in the average number of sales made by NAEA members.

Average sales increased from nine per branch in April to ten in May. This follows a continued rise from the beginning of the year, where in January the number of sales reported by NAEA members was only seven per branch.

The NAEA also revealed a 14% rise in the average number of house hunters compared with last year’s figures – up from an average of 274 per branch in May 2012 to 313 in May 2013. This is in addition to a month-on-month improvement, up from an average of 310 in April 2013 and 286 in March 2013.

Meanwhile, the average number of first time buyers (FTBs) has dropped from 23% in April to 20% in May, which suggests more still needs to be done to help this section of the market. The supply of properties also saw a slight decrease from 61 average properties for sale per branch in April to 60 in May, possibly due to the record sales figures in recent months.

Mark Hayward, managing director of the NAEA, said: “These really are encouraging figures; serious house hunters are continuing to enter the market and are intent on buying. The current low lending rates have created attractive conditions for those with sizable deposits who are thinking of buying or moving home. The story is reversed for first time buyers though with figures down on last month, suggesting that there are still issues surrounding access to finance for this group.

“We are hopeful that this positive trend will continue, with the sunny weather likely to bring even more house hunters to the market; plus if banks continue to compete on rates and offer increasingly attractive deals, savvy homebuyers may find their options in the market increase.”

Source: propertyinvestortoday.co.uk
 

Strongest annual UK house price rise since 2010

halifax-logoResidential property prices in the UK appreciated by 0.4% in May, as more buyers piled into the market, fuelled by improving conditions and government schemes such as Help to Buy, according to Halifax.

“House prices continue to pick up gradually,” said Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist.

For the three months to May, UK home prices rose by 2.6% compared to the same period last year – the biggest rise since September 2010.

Ellis added: “Market activity has also improved slightly in recent months although home sales remain low by historical standards. Despite these recent signs of improvement in the housing market, the subdued economic background and the accompanying weak income growth continue to be a significant constraint on housing demand and activity.”

Moving forward, many property commentators expect to see property prices rise further, supported by Help to Buy.

The scheme currently allows buyers to acquire a new build property up to the value of £600,000 with a minimum 5% deposit. The initiative will be opened up to resale homes next January, potentially helping to push property prices higher in the process.

But there are fears among some that this could lead to a housing bubble.

A report issued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) two weeks ago stated: “This measure (Help to Buy) may temporarily help boost confidence in the housing market, but there is a risk that, in the absence of an adequate [housing] supply response, the result would ultimately be mostly house price increases that would work against the aim of boosting access to housing.”

Source: propertyinvestortoday.co.uk