Posts with tag: Henry Dannell

Average UK house price rises again, Halifax House Price Index reports

Published On: June 9, 2022 at 8:58 am


Categories: Property News

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Yet another record month has been reported for UK house prices, as Halifax sees continued growth.

The latest Halifax House Price Index states that house prices in May 2022 were 10.5% higher than May 2021. However, the monthly increase has slowed to 1.0%.

The average house price has been recorded as £289,099 by Halifax.

Geoff Garrett, Director of Henry Dannell, comments on the report: “A slower rate of house price growth is always likely to follow a reduction in buyer demand and that’s certainly what we’re now seeing following a dip in mortgage approval activity at the start of the year. 

“Buyers are acting with more caution with regard to the sums they are willing to borrow and, at the same time, lenders are reducing their range of products and increasing the rates they are prepared to offer. 

“However, it remains to be seen as to whether this more tentative approach will reverse upward house price trends completely, as insufficient stock remains an issue in the current market.”

Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham and Reeves, comments: “The fact that the annual rate of growth continues to breach double figures is quite astonishing. 

“Although a slow in the rate of monthly house price growth may indicate an air of lethargy is starting to creep in following such a consistent run of upward growth, the market remains in very fine form.

“With market stock at a scarcity, it looks as though this upward trend is unlikely to subside any time soon, despite ongoing pressure in the form of the escalating cost of living and the threat of a further interest rate increase. 

James Forrester, Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, comments: “Any mutterings of a property market crash have been greatly exaggerated and the UK property market has remained impervious to the dark clouds that have been gathering over the wider economy in recent months. 

“While many will be struggling with the increased cost of living, the hard task of saving is nothing new for the nation’s aspirational homebuyers who continue to swamp the market while the cost of borrowing remains very favourable.”

Christina Melling, CEO of Stipendium, comments: “It’s certainly a tough time if you’re a first-time buyer. Not only has the initial financial hurdle of buying grown immensely in the last decade, but the gaps between each rung of the property ladder have also become much further apart. 

“As a result, not only is it taking until far later in life to realise our dreams of homeownership, but the climb has become much harder and longer, even once we’ve secured that first foot.”

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.”

Average UK house prices at another record high, Halifax data shows

Published On: April 8, 2022 at 9:24 am


Categories: Property News

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The latest Halifax House Price Index reports a monthly house price growth of 1.4% in March, the biggest increase in six months. 

Average house prices in the UK are now at another record high of £282,753. Read the full report here.

James Forrester, Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, comments: “An unwavering level of market activity has continued to drive house price appreciation in 2022 and this further growth comes off the back of a pandemic property market boom that had already pushed property prices to record highs. 

“Buyer demand remains extremely high and with a lack of stock to meet this demand, there’s no end in sight when it comes to the current state of the market. Even fears around the increasing cost of living and a number of interest rate increases are yet to make a dent and so the outlook for the year ahead is a positive one where market values are concerned.”

Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham and Reeves, comments: “A monthly look at house price growth is far too volatile a metric to judge wider market health upon. However, yet another double-digit annual increase is the real proof in the pudding and demonstrates a market that is flying high, even when compared to the strong performance posted this time last year. 

“The returning health of the London market has no doubt contributed to this. While the wider UK market was more than holding its own during much of the pandemic, this strong performance is now being bolstered by growing momentum across what is traditionally the powerhouse of UK property.  

“A return to the workplace and an influx of foreign demand are starting to stimulate property values across the capital and this will ensure that top line house price growth remains robust for the remainder of this year.”

Geoff Garrett, Director of Henry Dannell, comments: “Despite a string of interest rate increases and the inevitable impact this has had on monthly mortgage costs, the nation’s homebuyers are seemingly undeterred and continue to flood the market at mass.

“However, the general consensus is that this squeeze on mortgage affordability coupled with the increase in living costs will start to cool the current rate of house price growth as the year goes on. 

“While this may not be substantial enough to reverse the upward house price trends being seen at present, it’s almost certainly going to slow what have been some meteoric rises in recent months.”

Property industry reacts to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Spring Statement

This year’s Spring Statement from Chancellor Rishi Sunak has received responses from professionals within the property industry.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) comments: “We welcome the decision to scrap VAT on energy efficiency measures. However, it remains disappointing that the Government has again failed to explain what will be required of the rental sector when it comes to energy improvements. The sector needs clarity as a matter of urgency.

“More broadly, as renters, along with all others, face a cost-of-living crisis, the Chancellor should have reversed his decision to freeze housing benefit rates. Without this, those relying on the benefit will find it increasingly difficult to afford their rents.”

Matt Downie, Crisis Chief Executive, comments: “What’s clear from this statement is that people up and down the country will be pushed into homelessness. It will not give support to families facing the cost-of-living crisis.

“Achieving this relies on keeping people in their homes and yet this budget provided little relief for desperate people trying to keep a roof over their head as inflation runs rampant and energy bills skyrocket. The UK Government must urgently invest in housing benefit so that low-income families can cover the cost of their rent and increase benefits in line with inflation, so people have a fighting chance to put food on the table.” 

Alicia Kennedy, Director of Generation Rent, comments: “We are in a dangerous moment with millions about to be plunged into fuel poverty and people already in poverty facing desperate choices between heating and eating. When inflation is running at 7.4%, the Chancellor should have targeted help towards those least able to manage, by raising benefits at the same rate and making sure Local Housing Allowance covers rising rents. The higher National Insurance threshold will help many private renters but not our most vulnerable neighbours.

“Taking the National Insurance and income tax changes together, the Chancellor is stacking the economy against private renters who have to work for a living. While the Health and Social Care Levy will cancel out the planned income tax cut for workers, landlords will be better off because they don’t pay National Insurance on rental income. If he wants economic growth, the Chancellor should be shifting taxation from work to property wealth, and encouraging investment in more productive parts of the economy.

“The VAT cut on energy efficiency measures is welcome but until the Government acts on its promises to raise minimum energy efficiency standards for landlords and improve security of tenure, renters won’t feel the benefit.”

Paresh Raja, CEO of Market Financial Solutions, comments: “The Spring Statement was never likely to contain any major surprises as far as the property sector was concerned; at least not directly. But action was needed and, positively, it was taken to ease pressure on people’s finances in the short-term. In turn, this will help ensure the property market faces no nasty shockwaves.
“Rising inflation and interest rates are affecting both homeowners and homebuyers, impeding the amount they can borrow and save. So, it was positive to see the Chancellor cut fuel duty and financial support to households across the UK. The tax breaks for those making green improvements to their homes is also a welcome decision, encouraging the right type of property renovation.

“Looking to the property market, with demand still outweighing supply so significantly, it is likely that house prices will continue to rise as they have been. But for lenders, now is the time to act. We cannot leave it to the Chancellor alone to offer support to those hoping to get on or move up the property ladder. Rather, lenders’ focus must be on supporting their existing and prospective clients as best they can.

“Flexibility will be key; being too rigid in how and when you lend risks alienating certain buyers in the current climate, so lenders ought to consider how they can best meet each borrower’s particular needs and provide support to help them navigate the economic challenges they are facing.”

Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham and Reeves, comments: “The biggest personal tax cut in the last 25 years and an early election Budget for sure. With such headline grabbing announcements, the lack of property focus will easily slip through the cracks. 

“That said, environmentally minded homeowners will welcome today’s announcement that VAT on green additions to their home will now be cut from the existing 5%. Of course, with inflation also being announced at 6% today, has this benefit already been negated? 

“While great for the planet, solar and hydro energy outlets can be expensive to implement and take some time before the return starts to outweigh this initial cost and so it remains to be seen how meaningful this move will actually be.”

Michael Bruce, CEO and Founder of Boomin, comments: “A Budget with nothing much for housing but a little for the household itself and this was largely to be expected. 

“The Stamp Duty holiday introduced during the pandemic was probably the biggest bone the Government has thrown home buyers in recent times, so to expect another to come so soon after the final December deadline is certainly wishful thinking.

“Especially when house prices remain so buoyant as, after all, a high rate of house price growth is the Government’s driving indicator of success and they’ll only stoke the fires when these flames are starting to fade.”

James Forrester, Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, comments: “Such a bold move on income tax is of course welcome, but let’s not forget that this is somewhat diminished by an increase in both personal and employer national insurance, as well as the impending hike in corporation tax. 

“This will cause further problems for homeowners across the nation who will have seen a sharp increase in the cost of running their home already this year, with both an increase in interest rates, rising energy costs and a jump in fuel prices all bringing additional financial strain. 

“So, while there’s been no real property initiatives announced today other than 0% VAT on energy saving initiatives, other announcements such as the cut in fuel duty and the increase to the household support fund will, at least, help reduce this overall cost of living. 

“This should provide some small amount of breathing room for those that are particularly hard pressed at present, although it’s unlikely to solve the issue completely.”

Geoff Garrett, Director of Henry Dannell, comments: “Although there was generally no expectation that the property sector would feature in today’s Budget, some may have been hopeful of a breadcrumb or two from Mr Sunak in order to keep the market moving forward against what could be described as gathering financial headwinds. 

“We’ve now seen a string of consecutive increases to the base rate and this is not only going to impact the monthly payments of those homeowners on variable rate mortgages, but it’s also going to reduce the bullish approach to borrowing that we’ve seen from homebuyers in recent years. 

“The impact is likely to be a slowing in the rate of house price growth as buyers commit to lower borrowing amounts and sellers are forced to adjust their valuation expectations.”

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.”