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Housing set to be key battleground for 2024 general election

The UK’s housing market will be a major battleground in the general election – with the main political parties set to outline their plans over the next few weeks, including measure to address the existing crisis.

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The Tories and Labour will be grilled on their plans to support homeowners and renters over the next six weeks with research revealing that housing will be one of the key issues that will help decide the general election.

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Analysis by the market research firm Ipsos shows that British voters are most concerned about the economy, with healthcare, immigration and housing also ranking highly.

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Source: Property Industry Eye

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UK house prices fall unexpectedly for second month in a row

UK house prices have fallen unexpectedly in April for a second consecutive month, according to the building society Nationwide, as interest rate uncertainty and more expensive mortgages put a dampener on the traditional spring homebuying season.

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With some economists saying that two month-to-month falls in the closely watched index “start to look like a trend”, and new fixed mortgage rates continuing to creep up, the data will put further pressure on the Bank of England before next week’s interest rate announcement.

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The average house price in April was £261,962 – down by 0.4% on March, when the lender’s monthly index recorded a 0.2% month-on-month drop.

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Source: The Guardian

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UK Mortgage Approvals Rise for Sixth Month to Highest Since 2022

Britain’s housing-market recovery continued into March as mortgage approvals rose for a sixth month, Bank of England figures show.

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Banks and building societies authorized 61,325 home loans, up from 60,497 in February and the most since September 2022. Economists had expected 61,500. Unsecured credit, including credit card debt, rose £1.6 billion, slightly higher than forecast.

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Buyers are being lured back into the housing market by a brighter economic outlook and increased affordability after a sharp fall in mortgages rates since last summer. However, a recent resurgence in borrowing costs has raised questions over whether the recovery can continue.

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Source: Bloomberg

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Things to watch out for across the UK property market in 2024

The past year has seen the highest mortgage rates on record, influenced by high inflation, the closure of the Help to Buy scheme and increased costs of living, all of which have put the housing market in a unique position.

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Looking to the future, Pete Mugleston, MD and mortgage expert at Online Mortgage Advisor give his thoughts on what the property market might look like throughout the rest of 2024.

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As we head further into 2024 there is a strong indication that mortgage rates will slowly start to go down, which is great news for anyone who has been putting buying a house on hold. Right now, we’re seeing rates for a two-year fixed mortgage at about 5.95% and a five-year fixed at 5.57%, which is lower than before when you consider they were previously at 6.85% and 6.37% respectively.

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Source: Property Reporter

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Housing Market shows sign of improvement despite high rates

UK house prices fell by 0.2% in March. Nevertheless, the annual rate of house price growth edged higher to 1.6% in March, from 1.2% in February.

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The figures come from the Nationwide and the lender’s chief economist – Robert Gardner – says: “Activity has picked up from the weak levels prevailing towards the end of 2023 but remain relatively subdued by historic standards. For example, the number of mortgages approved for house purchase in January was around 15% below pre-pandemic levels.

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“This largely reflects the impact of higher interest rates on affordability. While mortgage rates are below the peaks seen in mid-2023, they remain well above the lows prevailing in the wake of the pandemic”

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Source: Introducer Today

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House Prices Rise for Second Month in a Row

After a surprising fall in house prices last month, economists have indicated that it was merely a temporary setback and expect prices to continue rising throughout the year.

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Despite a 0.2% decline in March, home values had previously risen in both January and February, showing an overall positive trend. House prices across the UK are currently 1.6% higher than they were a year ago, representing the strongest year-on-year growth since December 2022.

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According to Nationwide, the average price of a house in the UK is now £261,142, with economists predicting that prices will end the year significantly higher than they started. Although March saw a decline, economists believe it to be a “blip” and expect prices to resume their upward trajectory.

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Source: Business Matters

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Analysis shows long term rebalancing housing market

The average volume of UK properties listed for sale month-on-month rose by 58% in 2023 compared to a year previously, underscoring the rebalancing of supply and demand.

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According to new analysis by estate agency Jackson-Stops, the Isle of Wight was the front runner of this trend, seeing an 83% increase of homes on the market in one year alone, closely followed by Norfolk (78%), Somerset (75%) and Shropshire (75%).

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Jackson-Stops, who analysed average volumes of new listings on Rightmove’s website from 2022 to 2023, say the figures are representative of market resilience.

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Source: Introducer Today

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Exploring the Effects of the Spring Budget on the UK Property Market 

The UK property market is closely intertwined with government policies, and the spring budget plays a significant role in shaping its landscape. In this comprehensive post, we delve into the impact of the latest spring budget on various aspects of the UK property market, providing insights and analysis for property investors, homeowners, and industry professionals. 

Overview of the Spring Budget 

The spring budget, presented annually by the UK government, outlines fiscal policies, economic forecasts, and spending plans that can directly influence the property market. We analyse the key announcements related to housing, property taxes, and infrastructure investments made in the latest budget. 

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Impact on Property Prices and Market Trends 

One of the most immediate effects of the spring budget on the property market is its impact on property prices. We examine how changes in stamp duty, capital gains tax, and other property-related policies have influenced price trends and market dynamics across different regions in the UK. 

Stimulating Housing Market Activity 

The spring budget often includes measures aimed at stimulating housing market activity, such as incentives for first-time buyers, funding for affordable housing projects, and initiatives to promote property development. We assess the effectiveness of these measures in boosting housing transactions and addressing supply-demand imbalances. 

Implications for Property Investors and Landlords 

Property investors and landlords are key stakeholders in the UK property market, and the spring budget can have a direct impact on their investment strategies and profitability. We analyse how changes in taxation, regulations, and incentives introduced in the budget may affect the decision-making process for property investors and landlords. 

Sustainability and Green Initiatives 

In recent years, sustainability and green initiatives have gained prominence in the property market, with the government setting ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions and promoting energy-efficient buildings. We explore how the spring budget aligns with these sustainability goals and its implications for property developers and homeowners. 

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Future Outlook and Expert Predictions 

Looking ahead, we provide expert insights and predictions on the future trajectory of the UK property market in light of the spring budget announcements. Industry professionals weigh in on potential trends, challenges, and opportunities that may arise as a result of the budget measures. 

Conclusion: 

The spring budget serves as a critical policy tool that shapes the dynamics of the UK property market, influencing prices, market activity, investment decisions, and sustainability initiatives. By understanding the implications of the budget on the property market, stakeholders can make informed decisions and navigate the evolving landscape with confidence. 

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Will the Held Interest Rate Change the UK Property Market?

The Bank of England (BoE) announced their decision to hold the interest rate for the fifth consecutive time this week.

The current rate of 5.25% is the highest it has been for nearly 16 years, and it has been held at this level since August 2023. Previous to that, there was a run of 14 increases.

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By keeping the interest rate high, the BoE hopes to curb inflation, which is why they have been cautious about cutting rates despite the potential negative economic impact. Inflation has been falling since it peaked in October 2022 and now stands at 3.4%. However, this is still a way off the Bank’s target of 2%.

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Keeping an eye on these economic announcements is vital in all investment property strategies, and those in the property industry have been keenly tracking the changes in rates and sentiment to help them make their current investment decisions.

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Source: RWinvest

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House prices increased 1.5% in March

Increase exceeds historical trends for this time of year

Average house prices in March increased by 1.5% or £5,279 to reach £368,118, according to Rightmove’s latest house price index.

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This represents the largest monthly increase for 10 months, which Rightmove said signalled the continued recovery of the housing market after a muted 2023.

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This 1.5% increase surpasses the typical average rise observed in March, which historically stands at 1%. Year-on-year house prices have increased by 0.8%.

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Source: Housing Today