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Government reports continued UK house price growth

Published On: May 18, 2022 at 3:28 pm

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The House Price Index for March 2022 has been published by the Government, revealing the latest house price changes for England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

The report states that the March data shows:

  • On average, house prices have risen 0.3% since February 2022
  • There has been an annual price rise of 9.8%, which makes the average property in the UK valued at £278,436

James Forrester, Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, comments: “The economy continues to wobble against a backdrop of rising inflation and the cost of living crisis and so the old adage of ‘what goes up must come down’ may certainly be on the minds of many where the UK property market is concerned. 

“So far, this worry is yet to be realised and the market continues to move forward at speed, seemingly impervious to the influence of the wider economic landscape.”

Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham and Reeves, comments: “The winds of change are certainly starting to blow and while this building economic headwind is yet to derail the phenomenal rates of house price growth being seen across the UK on an annual basis, it certainly seems as though dark clouds are gathering on the horizon with a reduction in pace already materialising on a monthly basis.”

Chris Hodgkinson, Managing Director of HBB Solutions, comments: “The property market remains awash with homebuyers keen to climb the property ladder and with stock levels remaining insufficient, this heightened demand is continuing to drive house prices upwards on an annual basis. 

“However, with interest rates rising and inflation at a 40 year high, mutterings of a looming recession could soon reverse the market conditions seen in recent years and we’re already starting to see a slowdown on a month to month basis. 

“Should this come to fruition, many sellers may find it a struggle to secure a buyer and for a price they are happy with.” 

Rightmove reports ‘best ever spring sellers’ market’ for the UK

Rightmove has reported a new record for average house prices, as it sees the ‘best ever spring sellers’ market’.

The average house price in the UK was £354,564 in March 2022.

James Forrester, Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, comments: “Since early 2020, an unrelenting level of homebuyer demand has fuelled a property market boom that shows no signs of slowing some two years down the line.

“Such sustained market conditions are quite phenomenal and as cliche as it sounds, there really never has been a better time to sell your house. 

“To say homes are selling like hotcakes would be an understatement and with multiple buyers battling it out for every last scrap of property stock, sellers are achieving above and beyond their original price expectations.”

Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham and Reeves, comments: “As a nation, we’ve endured a prolonged period of economic instability due to the pandemic and yet more dark clouds are gathering due to the cost of living crisis. But despite this the UK property market remains a powerhouse of defiance, demonstrated by the fact that every region of the nation has reached record price highs in unison. 

“Although London continues to trail where this asking price performance is concerned, we’ve already seen concrete signs that the market is starting to turn in 2022, putting a sluggish pandemic performance firmly behind us.

“It will, of course, take some time before this starts to filter through and bolster home seller confidence within the capital, but when it does, it won’t be long before asking price expectations start to climb considerably. So while it very much remains a sellers’ market across the board, now is the time to buy in London as property prices are only heading one way for the remainder of the year, at the very least.” 

Geoff Garrett, Director of Henry Dannell, comments: “There’s no denying that the property market has performed impressively and with the cost of borrowing remaining favourable at present and buyer demand levels unlikely to subside, the short-term outlook remains positive. 

“However, both buyers and sellers would be well advised to make hay while the sun is shining, as growing economic headwinds are likely to take their toll further down the line. 

“While we don’t expect to see market activity evaporate completely, the growing cost of living will be a significant factor in the months to come and as household finances are stretched, it’s likely that prospective buyers will ease off on the sums they’re willing to offer. As a result, sellers will need to realign themselves with these changing market conditions and this will cause the rate of house price growth to cool.”

Chris Hodgkinson, Managing Director of HBB Solutions, comments: “The market is moving at an incredibly fast pace and this certainly favours the nation’s home sellers who are spoilt for choice when it comes to the interest shown in their property. 

“Despite these favourable conditions they are still advised to act with a level head and avoid getting swept up by this cyclone of market activity.

“The highest offer isn’t always the best option and it’s important to consider a buyer’s position within the market, not just the money they’re willing to pay. Failing to do so can see a sale collapse and unnecessary additional costs incurred.” 

Christina Melling, CEO of Stipendium, comments: “What we’re currently seeing is a feeding frenzy from second and third rung buyers and it’s this segment of the market that is driving the unsustainable levels of house price growth seen in recent months.

“Unfortunately, it’s the nation’s first-time buyers who are paying the price and those looking to take that first step are now paying £2,000 more for the pleasure compared to just one month ago. While this may not sound significant to those with the financial foundation of an existing property to fund their onward purchase, it’s yet another brick in an already substantial financial wall that’s blocking many from realising their dreams of homeownership.”

Government releases latest house price data for February 2022

The Government’s UK House Price Index shows that average house prices increased 10.9% in the year to February 2022. The average price of a UK property in February was £276,755.

James Forrester, Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, comments: “To say we’ve seen a fast start to the year would be somewhat of an understatement where current property market performance is concerned.

“Despite the wider narrative of financial turmoil that is impacting many households, we’ve seen an unrelenting level of homebuyers continue to enter the market in search of what is likely to be the most expensive purchase they will make in their lifetime.

“As a result, we’re seeing homes go under offer at an extremely quick pace, within days of listing them online in many cases, as buyers tussle over what limited stock there is available.”

Chris Hodgkinson, Managing Director of HBB Solutions, comments: “An incredibly competitive market is great for those looking to sell, but for homebuyers entering the fray it can be a stressful and expensive endeavour.

“Not only are they already facing a far higher cost when it comes to climbing the ladder, but pickings are slim in terms of the stock available.

“This not only makes it harder to find their ideal home, but when they do, many are being beaten to the punch, outbid during the offers stage and even gazumped when they think they have finally secured a property.”

Christina Melling, CEO of Stipendium, comments: “The current property market boom is being widely touted as a key indicator of economic success against an otherwise gloomy pandemic backdrop. But while those lucky enough to already own a home may agree, it’s unlikely this sentiment is shared by those struggling to get a foot on the ladder.

“The average first-time buyer is now over £21,000 worse off than just a year ago having seen the value of a first home increase by 10.1%.

“While the cost of borrowing may remain favourable, the initial financial hurdle of a mortgage deposit is simply too much for many to overcome. With the cost of living also climbing, those previously struggling to save will no doubt find the task almost impossible going forward.”

Lee Martin, Head of UK for new-build specialists Unlatch, comments: “Demand for new homes has only grown stronger in 2022 and the sector is certainly playing a pivotal role where market performance is concerned. This is evident by the fact that new-build house prices are climbing at more than double the rate of the existing market and so it’s fair to say the sector is the engine room driving current rates of house price appreciation.

“But despite this strong performance, it’s also fair to say that the sector is helping beleaguered first-time buyers by enabling them to reduce the sizeable financial barrier of a mortgage deposit by utilising the Help to Buy scheme.

“So while the Government has largely failed in its ambitions to build more homes, the nation’s housebuilders have taken up the mantle to keep Britain building, delivering housing stock that is sorely needed at all levels of the market.”

Geoff Garrett, Director of Henry Dannell, comments: “The market has continued to excel despite what is a very delicate economic landscape and while the cost of borrowing has remained fairly favourable, those currently looking to buy should tread very cautiously with regard to over borrowing.

“It remains to be seen as to whether the cost of a mortgage will climb substantially this year, but with the wider cost of living also putting a squeeze on household finances, those borrowing well beyond their means may fall into financial difficulty further down the line.”

Jonathan Samuels, CEO of Octane Capital, comments: “Mortgage rates have already climbed by one percent so far this year and they are only going to go in one direction.

“So while many homebuyers may find that the cost of borrowing remains fairly affordable at present, they can expect this cost to increase over the coming months.

“While this won’t stall the market completely, it will certainly dampen market activity and it’s only a matter of time before this impacts house prices.”

Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham and Reeves, comments: “While the London market continues to trail the house price pack where annual rates of appreciation are concerned, February’s explosive monthly increase provides the first signs of how quickly the tide is starting to turn.

“We’ve seen a sharp uptick in market activity on the ground for some months, driven by the return of both domestic professionals and foreign buyers, and this is now starting to translate into positive market momentum.

“Although the wider UK market may be susceptible to higher mortgage rates and the increasing cost of living, this is less likely to faze buyers within the capital. So we expect to see a complete role reversal with regard to property value performance as the year goes on.”

Property industry reacts to latest Nationwide House Price Index

The latest House Price Index from Nationwide reports an annual increase of 12.6% in February. This is up from 11.2% in January.

Month-on-month, prices are up 1.7%, with the average house price exceeding £260,000.

Michael Bruce, CEO and Founder of Boomin, comments: “We’re riding a wave of house price growth at present, driven by a market that is experiencing very high demand for homes that just simply aren’t available. It’s only natural that this wave will start to lose ferocity at some point, but there’s certainly no signs of that happening just yet, despite a squeeze on the cost of living and a double-digit increase in interest rates.”

Jonathan Samuels, CEO of Octane Capital, comments: “Although two consecutive increases in interest rates is always going to be food for thought for the nation’s home buyers, what we’re currently seeing is consideration, not concern.

“While some may have marginally adjusted the sums they are committing to borrowing, the sheer volume of new buyers entering the market remains very high and this is enough to keep house prices buoyant for some time to come.”

Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham and Reeves, comments: “There’s arguably never been a better time to be a homeowner as, despite all that’s been thrown at it, the UK property market continues to go from strength to strength. This performance really is quite alarming when you consider the wider economic turmoil that we’ve faced for some years now and it proves that there really is no safer investment than bricks and mortar.

“Even across London where market conditions have remained far more muted, values have continued to climb and the capital’s property market is now poised to enjoy an accelerated rate of growth over the coming year.”

Chris Hodgkinson, Managing Director of HBB Solutions, comments: “Although top line market statistics paint a very positive picture, it’s important to remember that the UK property market is extremely fragmented in its nature. The key to a successful sale is understanding your own local market landscape, the demand for homes and pricing in accordance with these factors. 

“Failure to do so and pricing too high will only see your home suffer from a severe lack of interest, a protracted period of time spent on the market and a higher chance of turbulence further down the transaction timeline.” 

James Forrester, Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, comments: “Yet another increase in property values demonstrates the current strength of the UK property market and the deafening silence coming from the usual band of property market naysayers is no better testament to this overall health. 

“Despite many prophesying the end of the market due to Brexit, the pandemic and the end of the stamp duty holiday, amongst other things, we’re yet to see a chink appear in the armour of what is perhaps the most defiant and dependable property market in the world.”

Government UK House Price Index report released for December 2021

UK house prices continue to increase, according to the Government’s latest UK House Price Index.

The annual price change is 10.8% for December 2021, with the monthly price change at 0.8%. Overall, the average price of a property in the UK was £274,712. 

Michael Bruce, CEO and Founder of Boomin, comments: “It’s only fitting that house prices should continue to climb in December, as the curtain falls on what has been quite an extraordinary year for the property market.  

“However, while the scales of supply and demand remain firmly tipped in favour of the nation’s home sellers, there’s a good chance that the high rate of house price growth seen during the pandemic will now subside, replaced by more incremental gains during the year ahead.”  

Kimberley Gates, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Sirius Property Finance, comments: “We’ve seen many buyers push their budget that little bit further over the last 12 months due greater levels of mortgage affordability and a stamp duty saving. This has helped drive top line house price growth across the UK and we’ve seen the market continue to go from strength to strength as a result.  

“With interest rates increasing and the opportunity of a stamp duty saving now long gone, we expect to see a more measured market performance over the coming year.  

While there’s certainly no reason to panic, the monthly cost of a mortgage will start to climb for those that aren’t locked into a fixed rate and this will impact the price buyers are willing to pay to climb the property ladder.” 

Geoff Garrett, Director of Henry Dannell, comments: “The general expectation is that the Bank of England will impose at least two further interest rate increases over the course of this year. This will bring the base rate up to one percent at the very least and while this remains comparably low to historic highs, those on tracker or variable rates will notice the monthly cost of their mortgage climb significantly. 

“We’ve already seen a huge uplift in the number of lenders withdrawing or increasing their fixed rate offerings and we believe this will continue. So for those considering a purchase in 2022, it’s important not to overstretch financially and the best plan of action is to enter the market with plenty of breathing room to help absorb this hike in the cost of borrowing.” 

Jonathan Samuels, CEO of Octane Capital, comments: “The market remains in fine form having defied all expectations during the pandemic and there is little sign of any significant decline on the horizon.  

“Increasing interest rates and a sharp jump in the cost of living will, of course, have some impact. 

“We expect this will come in the form of a more conservative approach to borrowing from the nation’s homebuyers in contrast to the gung ho approach seen during much of the pandemic, as they are no longer buoyed by the race for more space and a stamp duty saving. 

“The result of which will be a slow in the rate of house price growth rather than a property market crash.” 

Chris Hodgkinson, Managing Director of HBB Solutions, comments: “We’re yet to see a let up in the torrential downpour of homebuyer demand that has washed over the property market pretty much since the start of the pandemic. As a result, those looking to sell are achieving a very good price which is driving property values ever higher. 

“Current market conditions are so strong that even when transactions are falling through, sellers are securing another buyer immediately and for a higher price than they had agreed during their original sale. 

“This won’t last forever though and those entering the market this year should tread with a little more caution. Although demand levels are likely to remain robust, buyers will start to feel the pinch caused by an increase in both the cost of living and borrowing. So sellers who persist with unrealistic asking price expectations will struggle to see them met.” 

Marc von Grundherr, Director of estate agent Benham and Reeves, comments: “The market outlook for the year ahead remains positive despite dark cloud gathering in the form of increasing interest rates and an inflated cost of living. While these factors will certainly influence the market to some extent, they are unlikely to dampen our appetite for homeownership and with stock levels remaining insufficient, market values are unlikely to decline anytime soon.  

“That said, it is likely that the wider UK market will now shift down a gear or two where the rate of house price growth is concerned, with early signs suggesting that London is once again poised to take house price pole position. 

“Buyer demand for central London flats has picked up considerably and this is a very promising sign given it’s really the core segment of the central London market. This growing demand will continue to be bolstered by a return to the workplace and most notably, the return of foreign buyers and renters, with these factors continuing to pull London out of the doldrums where it’s sat for much of the pandemic.” 

James Forrester, Managing Director of estate agent Barrows and Forrester, comments: “It’s hard to remember a time when the property market has been firing on all cylinders for such a sustained period and we continue to see numerous areas driving top line market performance forward at quite some rate.  

“Of course, this rate of growth isn’t sustainable for ever and we expect to see some natural correction in the coming months. This certainly won’t come in the form of a house price collapse, but those thinking of selling would be wise to do so sooner, rather than later. 

“There is currently an incredible shortage of stock available on the market and we’re seeing numerous buyers fight it out over a single property. With such an imbalance, those that do bring their home to market are sure to achieve very close to asking price and, in some cases, quite a bit more.”

Rightmove releases first House Price Index report of 2022

Published On: January 17, 2022 at 10:29 am

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Categories: Property News

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According to its latest House Price Index, Rightmove found the average asking price of a property was £341,019 this month (January 2022).

This is 7.6% higher than in January 2021, the highest annual rate of price growth recorded by Rightmove since May 2016.

The report also highlights:

  • First-time buyer asking prices hit a new record of £214,176 after a monthly jump of 1.4%
  • Strong demand and continuing low numbers of available homes for sale set up the housing market frenzy to continue into the start of 2022, with early-bird sellers benefitting from increased buyer competition:
  • The number of buyers enquiring about homes is 15% higher than the same time last year
  • The number of available homes for sale per estate agency branch drops again to a new record low of just 12
  • As a result, competition among buyers is almost double what it was at this time last year
  • However, there are early signs that more property choice is on its way, with the first working week of 2022 being the busiest start of the year ever for people requesting agents to come out and value their homes:
  • The number of home valuation requests in the first working week of 2022 is 44% up on the same period last year, and 48% up on the same period in 2020

The full report can be read on the Rightmove website.

Walid Koudmani, market analyst at financial brokerage XTB, comments: “Falling supply continues to increase pressure on house prices as buyers begin to run out of options while prices continue to steadily increase.

“Today’s HPI report highlights the ongoing trend we have seen with house prices rising once again as less properties become available on the market due to an increase in sales seen at the beginning of the year. Unless the supply situation is alleviated, we could continue to see an increase in prices for average buyers while a slight rebound is expected moving forward as more properties are expected to be listed in the coming months.”

Chris Hodgkinson, Managing Director of HBB Solutions, comments: “There’s certainly been no New Year’s change where the UK property market is concerned, and homebuyers are still swamping the market while house prices continue to defy the ‘what goes up must come down’ mantra.

“In fact, with stock levels remaining low, this fresh wave of demand is pushing asking prices even higher than the stamp duty fuelled thresholds of last year. 

“When you also consider that the cost of borrowing is still very low, we can expect more of the same where property market performance is concerned in 2022.”

Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham and Reeves, comments: “There have been no signs of a sluggish start to the year for the property market and not only are we seeing a very strong level of buyer activity, but we’ve also been inundated with requests from potential sellers keen to make the most of these buoyant market conditions. 

“We’re now seeing a strong level of activity returning to the London market and the capital’s forecast is far brighter for the year ahead, having been uncharacteristically left in the shadows during the pandemic house price boom. 

“Overseas buyers are returning in their number and the capital is hotting up as the time to sell a home reduces and stock availability comes under pressure. 

“If buyers are quick there is still an element of ‘old stock’ that has been stuck on the market and these opportunities can potentially be snapped up at relatively decent price levels – for now.”

Colby Short, Founder and CEO of GetAgent.co.uk, comments: “Many home sellers will have listed their home prior to the festive break in anticipation of a fast start to the year and this proactive approach is now paying off as many are already accepting offers on their homes. 

“However, for those buyers who are struggling to find their ideal home, there is hope for the year ahead. Now that the dust has settled following the final stamp duty holiday deadline, we’re seeing a significant increase in the number of sellers heading to market.

“So, we can expect to see a good level of fresh stock materialise over the coming months, bringing greater choice to buyers and adding yet further fuel to the house price growth furnace.”