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Housing Market Sees Major Surge In Activity As Tenant Demand Rises

The housing market experienced a significant uptick in activity in April 2024, with increases in buyer registrations, new sales instructions, and sales agreed. Meanwhile, the lettings sector saw a rise in prospective tenant registrations, although demand continues to outstrip supply.

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Increase in residential sales activity
Propertymark’s latest Housing Insight Report reveals that the number of market appraisals per member branch rose from 22 in March to 26 in April 2024. This increase indicates a potential rise in future supply. The average number of sales agreed per branch also saw an upward trend, suggesting a more active market as spring begins.

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Fluctuating rents and reduced arrears
In the lettings sector, rents showed variability across different markets and regions. Most Propertymark members reported that rents either remained static (47%) or increased (41%) during April. Encouragingly, rental arrears decreased, with only about 2% of fully managed and rent collect properties in arrears, indicating improved payment stability among tenants.

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Landlord Knowledge

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Hong Kong buyers dominating foreign homeownership in England & Wales

House hunters from Hong Kong have been found to be the most prolific overseas buyers operating in the nation’s residential market, accounting for over 13% of all foreign-owned homes in England and Wales, according to newly released market analysis.

London lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves, submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Land Registry to ascertain the 50 most prominent foreign nations represented among individual residential property owners in England & Wales, and how many properties they own.

According to the data, buyers from the 50 most represented foreign nations among owners of homes in England & Wales combine to own 187,275 properties.

Hong Kong buyers most prominent nation

Buyers from Hong Kong own the largest proportion of these properties, with 24,759 homes representing 13.2% of the aforementioned total.

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Buyers from Singapore own 15,752 properties or 8.4% of the total; while buyers from the U.S. account for 6.4%.

Buyers from the UAE account for 5.7% of the total, while buyers from Ireland (5.3%), Malaysia (5.2%), China (4.6%), Australia (4.4%), Kuwait (4.3%), and France (3.7%) are also strongly represented on the national housing market.

Increase in foreign buyer numbers

These figures come after the total number of properties owned by buyers from the top 50 foreign nations increased by 3.8% between January 2022 and January 2023.

Ownership for Chinese buyers has increased the most in the past year, rising by 18.8% to own 8,736 properties.

Read about the UK Housing Market via our Specialist Residential & Buy to Let Division

Hong Kong nationals have increased their presence by 11.6% since 2022, and Israeli buyers have increased their footprint on the national housing market by 9.8%.

Significant increases have also been recorded among buyers from Gibraltar (6.7%), Austria (6.7%), Turkey (6.7%), Egypt (6.3%), Norway (5.1%), Germany (4.8%), and Sweden (4.7%).

Among the top 50 most represented nations in England & Wales’ housing market, three have actually seen their ownership proportion decline in the past year.

Buyers from Ireland now own -3.5% less property, buyers from Taiwan have reduced ownership by -3.3%, and Russian buyers now own -0.5% less property than they did at the start of 2022.

Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, commented:

“It’s no secret that England & Wales is a hugely attractive market for overseas property buyers, with London being a particularly desirable location. The stability of our property market offers reliably a profitable space for investment buyers, and our country, with its rich history and culture, has long held great appeal for people looking to buy outside of their home countries.

“Many experts believed that Brexit would result in there being fewer overseas owners as access to the EU was reduced and the anticipated economic struggles removed some of the profitability of investing in our great nation. Our exclusive research reveals that none of this has come to fruition and that, in fact, our market has only become more popular.

“While this popularity isn’t limited to one single nation, it’s certainly being driven by Hong Kong buyers who continue to be the most prominent foreign nations operating within our bricks and mortar market.

“This is certainly no new trend and Benham and Reeves has had a local Hong Kong office since 1995, helping those who are looking to purchase in England and Wales. However, it’s fair to say that our team of experts in Hong Kong have never been busier and we expect this to remain the case going forward.”

Source: Property Reporter

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Shared ownership should be rebranded to attract the borrowers: Just Mortgages

The term ‘shared ownership’ is acting as a barrier to the borrowers it is designed to help, according to Just Mortgages.

The mortgage advice company says that feedback from across its broker network suggets clients regularly misunderstand who the scheme is targeted at and what the term really means.

Other misconceptions around shared ownership include what properties would be acceptable, what rates are available and how long the process may take.

Just Mortgages says shared ownership is often positioned as a vehicle for those first-time buyers without a deposit but it highlights that the scheme can be appropriate in those situations where relationships break down.

It suggests that this is an emerging group of borrowers that shared ownership could help but is often left off the agenda as the name suggests it might not be suitable for that borrower.

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Just Mortgages national operations director John Philips says “there is clearly an issue to be addressed with shared ownership”.

“Recent anecdotal feedback from some younger borrowers revealed that they actually thought shared ownership meant sharing the property and not living on their own.”

“Those who are slightly longer in the tooth may be tempted to scoff at this but our market is full of jargon and terminology that is completely unfamiliar with a new generation of borrowers and people with new borrowing requirements.”

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“I’m worried that the terrific opportunity shared ownership provides to help people get on the property ladder is being diminished through clumsy terminology so maybe a rebrand is in order. Shared deposit scheme, low deposit scheme and deposit deferral scheme are just some examples of terms that would position the product in a more appropriate light.”

“I think any re-branding or re-positioning would benefit the whole industry and we would welcome the involvement of lender and broker trade bodies to support this.”

By Becky Bellamy

Source: Mortgage Strategy

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Will cost of living crisis renew holiday let demand?

Landlords diversifying into holiday lets could see renewed demand, as the cost of living crisis limits some people’s ability to holiday abroad.

When mortgage interest tax relief began to be withdrawn back in April 2017, landlords wanting to make smart decisions to maintain profits started to look around for solutions. For some, investing in limited company buy to lets presented a more tax efficient solution.

Holiday lets too offer tax benefits, as they are automatically classified as a business. As such, this niche within the buy to let sector has seen significant growth. Not least as a result of soaring demand, when the Covid-19 pandemic fueled huge interest in holidaying at home.

Reports in the media since suggest that the demand for holidaying in the UK has not dwindled. Whilst UK weather is not what you would call reliable, there is great appeal in avoiding the slog of an aeroplane journey at either end of your getaway.

What’s more, holidays in the UK are very flexible, and so the cost can be more easily controlled. So for those wanting a holiday but are strapped for cash, there is no need to finance a full 7 or 14 days more typically associated with going abroad. Holiday lets in the UK can easily be booked for 5, 10 or however many days make it affordable.

Not only this, but with no need to fly, the travel time cuts into your holiday far less, meaning a holiday at home for the same number of days can feel longer to one abroad, as you don’t necessarily lose the best part of two days getting to and from your house.

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Holiday let mortgage availability
When the Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng mini-Budget became public, holiday let lenders – amongst many others – retreated into their beach huts, taking many of their products with them.

However, the good news is that with the economy settling, holiday let lenders are back, back, back.

Latest data from financial data analysts Moneyfacts shows that there are 411 holiday let mortgage products available to landlords in the UK, across 34 different brands. This is an increase of 233 holiday let products since October 2022 and an additional 8 lenders coming into the marketplace to offer lending solutions.

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New legislation from April 2023
On 14th January 2022, Michael Gove announced new legislation that cracked down on second home owners purporting to be offering property as a holiday let, but actually leaving them vacant.

The new rules come in on 1st April this year, and require holiday let properties to have been rented out for 70 days of the year in order to qualify for business rates and to avoid paying council tax. Evidence will be required in the form of website or brochure information for the premises along with letting details and receipts.

Not only will holiday let property have to be physically rented out for 70 days, but it must also be available to rent for a minimum of 140 days to qualify for the tax reliefs this sector benefits from.

The greater impact of this new legislation will be on those people with second homes who were not actually renting out their property to holidaymakers.

For most landlords looking to diversify their portfolio, these new requirements should not have significant effect, as renting out your property for as long as possible is the business objective.

Source: Commercial Trust

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Singletons punished by rising mortgage rates as couples now dominate housing market

Singletons are being punished by rising rates leading to 63 per cent of first-time mortgages now being taken out in joint names.

Higher mortgage rates and squeezed budgets mean just 37 per cent of first-time buyers taking out a mortgage are purchasing solo, according to data from the country’s biggest lender, Halifax.

This is a huge change compared to 2014, the earliest year when the data was available, when just 43 per cent of first-time borrowers took out a mortgage jointly while 57 per cent bought on their own.

The increase in costs experienced in the past year has meant that banks are willing to lend less as people’s rising energy and food bills reduce how much they can afford to pay for their home loans each month. Similarly, the higher mortgage rates have also meant people can’t always borrow the same amounts they did when rates were low and pass banks’ affordability tests, particularly if this is based on one salary.

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Although property prices are expected to go down this year, by as much as 10 per cent, they have risen significantly in previous years.

The overall number of first-time buyers is still higher than pre-pandemic levels but down 11 per cent on 2021’s record high of 405,320, sitting at 362,461 in 2022.

Prices were unusually high in 2021 thanks to the “race for space” – pent up demand from the pandemic and Government measures to ease stamp duty costs, leading to a record number of first-time buyers getting the keys to their first home.

This is now easing somewhat, but affordability is still a problem with average property values for first-time buyers now around 7.6 times the average UK salary.

Separate data from the Office of National Statistics last year showed house prices grew faster than earnings in 91 per cent of local authority districts, leading to a reduction in housing affordability in these areas.

Read about the UK Housing Market via our Specialist Residential & Buy to Let Division.

Kim Kinnaird, mortgages director at Halifax, said: “Today, getting your own place for the first time will likely mean paying over £300,000 for that new home, and putting down, on average, a £62,000 deposit.

“The length of time needed and cost of raising a deposit are likely having an impact on the profile of the average first-time buyer over time. Today, those starting out on the housing ladder are 32 years old on average – two years older than a decade ago – and almost two thirds of people are now getting their first mortgage in joint names.”

The average two-year fixed-rate mortgage interest rate is 5.49 per cent, compared with 2.38 per cent last January, according to Moneyfacts, while a five-year deal is at 5.26 per cent, compared with 2.66 per cent 12 months earlier.

By Grace Gausden

Source: i News

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House prices rise by 11.5% in year to August, Halifax data shows

Average house prices in the UK lost pace slightly in August, Halifax says, slowing from 11.8% growth in July to 11.5%.

This is the slowest annual rise recorded by the lender in three months.

With prices rising 0.4% on a monthly basis, this puts the average property price at £294,260.

Of all regions, Wales saw the fastest rise during the summer month, at 16.1%, with the South West of England not far behind, at 14.5%.

Halifax mortgages director Kim Kinnaird says that things may not continue in this manner: “While house prices have so far proved to be resilient in the face of growing economic uncertainty, industry surveys point towards cooling expectations across the majority of UK regions, as buyer demand eases, and other forward-looking indicators also imply a likely slowdown in market activity.”

Finanze chief economist Edgar Rayo sees a similar outcome. He says: “Liz Truss’ proposed tax cuts to stimulate the economy will most likely see interest rates rise further and affect millions of existing and prospective borrowers during what’s predicted to be a severe and protracted recession.

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“Although the Bank of England denies speculations from analysts that interest rates will hit the same level seen during the early 80s, the new prime minister’s strategy has serious implications for the mortgage market, since it will likely compel Threadneedle street to hike its benchmark interest rate closer to the 3.25% threshold in 2023.

“This will mean higher payments for those not locked into longer fixed-term mortgages, which shield them from interest rate hikes. Truss’s expansionary measures are designed for a short-term GDP and productivity boost, but their impact on property prices could be profound.”

Hargraves Lansdown senior personal finance analyst Sarah Coles adds: “As we go through the rest of the year, higher interest rates and runaway inflation are only going to make life harder.

Read about the UK Housing Market via our Specialist Residential & Buy to Let Division

“However, we won’t see annual house price rises fall in a straight line. This is partly because of the echoes of the stamp duty holiday last year which created really lumpy price changes a year ago. However, it’s also because the property market is driven to a huge extent by sentiment, and right now, that’s a bit of a rollercoaster ride.”

And Jamie Thompson Mortgages broker Jamie Thompson says: “There’s no such thing as a buyers’ market in the UK. I don’t think there ever will be again.

“The only way to tip the balance back towards buyers and away from existing owners who are now sat on eye-watering amounts of equity in their property it to build more homes and we’re not doing that.

“I’m doing mortgages at the moment for people who bought their first house just two years ago placing down 5% and 10% deposits who now have so much equity they are moving up from small starter homes to detached family homes.

“Lenders’ criteria are getting more lax by the day with Nationwide extending the 5.5 times income limit to existing customers, not just first-time buyers with higher incomes, and Halifax and Accord are also increasing the maximum borrowing amount for many borrowers. As the banks allow buyers to borrow more they will increase their bids and house prices will remain high. It’s simple economics.”

By Gary Adams

Source: Mortgage Finance Gazette

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How the looming recession will hit house prices and buy-to-let landlords

The prospect of a recession is looming as economic growth fell for the second consecutive month in April.

Gross domestic product dropped by 0.3pc year-on-year in April, according to the Office for National Statistics. This was below economists’ expectations of 0.1pc growth and followed a 0.1pc fall in March.

The economy is “on course for a sharp contraction”, according to analysts Pantheon Macroeconomics.

A full blown recession is still “unlikely”, it said. But the property market is already at a turning point. Analysts have called the peak of house price growth and demand is disappearing fast.

Mortgage approvals for home purchases fell in April to their lowest level in two years, according to the Bank of England, dropping below the pre-pandemic average for the first time since the 2020 housing market shutdown.

Remortgage activity also fell below the pre-Covid benchmark, which suggests that interest rates have finally climbed high enough to put an end to the race to lock in cheap deals.

Savills estate agents has forecast house price falls of 1pc next year, following 7.5pc growth in 2022. After this will come three years of sluggish growth. Transactions in 2023 will fall by 13pc year-on-year, it said.

Soaring inflation is hitting real take-home pay just as rising mortgage costs are depleting buyers’ borrowing power and the cost-of-living crisis is destroying their ability to save.

Consumer confidence has plunged to a record low, meaning buyers will become nervous of taking on more debt and stretching themselves financially to purchase homes. As the chart below shows, in the past this has been linked to house price falls.

Sarah Coles, of fund shop Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “At this stage, the property market is positively festooned with red flags.”

Yet few analysts are anticipating a house price crash because there is still an extreme shortage of supply, and unemployment is at a record low. But how much could the economic outlook change?

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Will there be a recession?
British GDP rose by 0.8pc in the first three months of this year. But much of this growth was driven by high levels of government expenditure on Covid support measures. Pantheon Macroeconomics, has forecast falling Covid spending will detract a whole percentage point from quarterly GDP growth this spring, bringing a fall of 0.5pc compared to the first three months of the year.

“The risks to our below-consensus forecast that GDP will fall by 0.5pc quarter-on-quarter in Q2 now appear to be skewed slightly to the downside,” said Pantheon Macroeconomics.

The cost-of-living crisis is also taking its toll. “Evidence is now accumulating that the squeeze on real disposable incomes is throttling the economy,” it added.

But it does not expect there to be two consecutive quarters of decline, which is the official definition of a recession.

Yet there are different ways to characterise recessions. On a larger scale, the World Bank defines a global recession as a year in which the average citizen sees a drop in their real income.

This is already happening in the UK. Real regular pay flatlined in October and has since fallen for four consecutive months, according to the Office for National Statistics. In February, real pay was down 1.3pc year-on-year. The Office for Budget Responsibility, the fiscal watchdog, has forecast the biggest drop in real earnings on record this year.

During the global financial crisis, “real” pay fell by 1.5pc. This corresponded with an 18pc drop in house prices, according to Nationwide building societ

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The cost of living crisis will hammer the rental sector
There is a risk that unemployment will rise, and this will hit lower income households first. This would bring a spike in tenants falling into arrears.

Neal Hudson, of BuiltPlace analysts, said: “It is renters I am most worried about. They were the worst hit by the pandemic, they are worst hit by the cost-of-living crisis, and they spend a higher proportion of their income on their housing costs. We will see the impact in the rental sector first, before the owner occupier market.”

If a large number of tenants fall into arrears, there could be a wave of forced sales from landlords, said Mr Hudson. “They are already feeling quite under pressure. A lot of them are reliant on debt; they are being squeezed by higher mortgage rates and by growing regulatory pressures.”

Landlords catering to lower income tenants will be most exposed, said Mr Hudson. Many of these places are also the areas in the North and Midlands that have seen huge buy-to-let investment over the last five to 10 years because low house prices have meant investors can achieve much higher yields than in London and the South.

“On paper, the yields in these places might look good, but when they factor in void periods and non-payments things will be pretty precarious,” said Mr Hudson.

Jumps in repossessions trigger house price falls
Forced sales, when homeowners have to accept discounts to sell fast, are one of the biggest drivers of house price falls. These are caused when people are no longer able to keep up with mortgage repayments, for example after losing their job.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research, a consultancy, has forecast that mortgage repossession claims will surge by 50pc by the end of this year. Over the next two years, they will jump 150pc; by 2024 it will be at the highest level since 2014, when the numbers were still inflated in the wake of the financial crisis.

But this anticipated jump is still small on a historical scale and analysts do not expect repossessions to escalate dramatically – partly because the value of lenders’ portfolios will suffer too if they enforce mass repossessions.

‘Stagnation rather than a crash’
Mr Hudson said: “The big thing the regulators and lenders learned in the early 1990s is that they want to avoid big numbers of repossessions and forced sales. They have a lot of flexibility and capacity for forbearance for existing homeowners. That is why I think we are looking at house price stagnation rather than a crash.”

But rising rates mean many homeowners may be pushed to sell up without being forcibly repossessed.

Ross Boyd, of mortgage comparison website Dashly, said: “There is going to be a remortgage crunch.” Many people are used to paying 1pc interest on their mortgages and will get a shock when they remortgage and find that rates have more than doubled, said Mr Boyd. Some will find they can no longer afford the repayments.

“It is starting now. The number of two-year fixed-rate deals that will expire in June is enormous because so many people bought from the summer of 2020,” said Mr Boyd.

By Melissa Lawford

Source: msn

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Bank of England expected to hike interest rates but will it cause house prices to fall?

The housing market will almost certainly be hampered by this week’s expected increase in interest rates from 1%.

Economists are forecasting that the Bank of England will raise interest rates by a quarter percentage point on Thursday, although some do not rule out a rise of half a point — taking rates to 1.5%.

The Bank is under growing pressure to tame inflation, which is currently running at its highest level in 40 years at 9%.

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An interest rate hike would represent the fifth consecutive increase by the financial institution and could, according to some analysts, including Laith Khalaf, the head of investment analysis at AJ Bell, increase the risk of recession.

Khalaf said: “By raising interest rates, the bank is putting the brakes on an economy that is already slowing of its own accord. That risks the economy stalling, or worse, going into reverse.”

Mortgage brokers forecast that increased borrowing costs will almost certainly slow demand for property, and in turn cause property price growth to slow.

“The expectation is that you’ll see a slowing in price growth or even a flattening off,” said David Hollingworth of London & Country.

Buying agent Henry Pryor agreed that the rate hike would cause the market to slow.

Read about the UK Housing Market via our Specialist Residential & Buy to Let Division

“It will dampen enthusiasm but it won’t cause prices to fall. House price inflation this time next year will be two per cent rather than five per cent,” he told the press.

“Demand always exceeds supply, even when house prices historically fall,” said Pryor. “The average estate agent’s office today has about 20 houses for sale but nearly 400 buyers on their books.”
Pyror predicted that in five years house prices will be at their current levels, as the market peaks before declining.

“Lenders will find it very difficult to make money more readily available, or cheaper to borrow going forward,” he added.

Zoopla’s latest House Price Index shows that property price growth hit nearly 8% in January. But the housing market is now at a ‘turning point’, according to Gráinne Gilmore, the portal’s head of research.

By Marc Da Silva

Source: Property Industry Eye

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Agents urge government to do more boost housing supply, including ‘targeted stamp duty exemptions’

The prime minister’s housing announcement last week will do little to boost the supply of much needed housing.

Boris Johnson, keen to repair his fortunes after a bruising Tory revolt against his leadership this week, unveiled plans to make it easier for people to buy their own home.

Johnson’s intention to extend Right to Buy and allow housing association tenants to buy their properties at a discounted price has provoked a mixed property industry reaction.

Crucially, he scrapped a manifesto pledge to build 300,000 homes a year, which will almost certainly have a negative impact on the supply of much needed housing coming onto the market.

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Eleanor Bateman, policy officer for Propertymark, said: “Sales and lettings agents do not have enough homes to meet demand from buyers or renters. What they needed to hear from the Prime Minister was more detail on how his government intends to ensure the planning system is geared up to boost new supply.

“The Prime Minister talked about unlocking small publicly-owned development sites, converting agricultural buildings and supporting self-build schemes – but these are simply not going to deliver the number of houses we need on the ground to cope with demand.

“Making it easier for people to save for a deposit or to get a mortgage as part of his Levelling Up agenda will have little value if there are not the houses available for them to buy.

“But it’s not just about ramping up building. We think more could be done to maintain the turnover of existing homes, such as incentivising right-sizing through targeted stamp duty exemptions, something that could be further facilitated through policies that deliver more suitable homes for older and disabled people.”

On the mortgage review, Nathan Emerson, Propertymark CEO, commented: “We welcome the Prime Minister’s promise to review the mortgage market, as with rising interests rates many first-time buyers and current homeowners will continue to need support to access finance.

Read about the UK Housing Market via our Specialist Residential & Buy to Let Division

“However, as well as reviewing lending options, the UK Government should consider what it can do to encourage sustainable routes to homeownership, such as extending the Help to Buy Equity Loan to the second-hand market and re-opening the Help to Buy ISA.

“Fundamentally, the UK Government must increase the supply of housing and incentivise movement in the housing market so that alongside access to finance, prospective purchasers have something to buy.”

By Marc Da Silva

Source: Property Industry Eye

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Low stock continues to shrink the gap between asking and sold prices

The gap between the expectations of buyers and sellers in the UK property market has narrowed to a record low, according to the latest market analysis from London lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves.

Based on data from the top four existing indices, the research looks at where the average house price sits overall when taking into account mortgage approved house prices from Halifax and Nationwide, seller expectations via the Rightmove House Price Index, and sold prices from the UK House Price Index.

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It also highlights how the gap has changed between buyers’ and sellers’ expectations, as well as asking price and actual sales price, on a quarterly basis across London and the UK.

Current property values

Based on a geometric mean of all four existing data sets, Benham and Reeves put the current average UK house price at £296,406 for the first quarter of 2022, up 2.6% on the previous quarter and 10.4% annually. In London, the current average is £562,146 having climbed 1.8% quarter to quarter and 6.3% in Q1 on 2021.

Market gap between mortgage approval price (buyers) & asking price (sellers)

Despite a hat trick of base rate increases from the Bank of England during the final quarter of 2021 and the first of 2022, mortgage approved house prices via Nationwide and Halifax climbed by 2.7% on a quarterly basis.

At the same time, the average asking prices also climbed for the fourth consecutive quarter, although at 1.7%, this rate of growth was more muted.

This means that the gap between what buyers are prepared to pay (£269,769) and what sellers are hoping to secure (£348,129) has reduced to just 29%, the smallest gap recorded since Benham and Reeves began their house price index in 2018.

Read about the UK Housing Market via our Specialist Residential & Buy to Let Division

In London, the average mortgage approval price also increased by 2.2% on a quarterly basis, with asking prices up 1.3% on the previous quarter.

This means that the capital’s sellers remained less expectant compared to the wider UK market, with the gap between the average mortgage approval price (£518,333)and the average asking price (£653,333) sitting at just 26%.

However, as with the UK overall, this is the smallest gap between buyer and seller expectations recorded in the London market since the Benham and Reeves Index began in 2018.

Market gap between asking price (sellers) & sold price (buyers)

During Q1 2022, the gap between the asking price expectations of UK home sellers and the price paid by the nation’s buyers fell to its lowest on record. With the average buyer paying £277,287, home sellers were having to reduce their asking price (£348.129) by just -20.3% in order to secure a sale. This is undoubtedly due to the severe lack of stock available on the market causing many buyers to offer above and beyond what they may have otherwise, simply to secure themselves a property.

Across London, the gap between the average sold price (£524,570) and the average asking price (£653,333) fell to just -19.7% during the first quarter of 2022. This was also the smallest gap between seller expectation and buyer intent recorded by Benham and Reeves since 2018 bar just one. During the first quarter of 2021, this market gap had closed to 19.5%, the only time it has been smaller than it currently is.

Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham and Reeves, commented: “Despite a string of interest rate hikes, UK homebuyers continue to make hay while the sun shines, with mortgage approved house prices climbing yet again in 2022.

“At the same time, asking prices have also increased but they haven’t done so with the same gusto. As a result, this continued optimism from the nation’s buyers means that the gap between what they are borrowing and the notoriously ambitious asking price expectations of UK sellers is now at its smallest since we began our records back in 2018.

“But while buyers continue to swamp the market at mass, the challenge facing them is a severe lack of available stock and this is having a notable influence on the market reality gap between asking prices and sold prices.

“Sellers will always overprice when entering the market in order to leave a little room to do the dance during the negotiation stage. Although they continue to do so, they are finding that buyers are willing to come up that bit more than they previously have in order to secure a property.

“This has caused the gap between asking prices and sold prices to narrow to its lowest on record.”

Source: Property Reporter