House prices: London now ‘far ahead of the curve’

TheIndependent

“The London market powers onwards  with double-digit growth,

“But agents suggest that sentiment is changing as buyers are taking more time to consider a purchase before taking the plunge.

“Mark Carney has made it clear that interest rates will go up sooner rather than later so buyers are rightly asking whether they can they afford the property now and also in a year’s time when rates could be higher. Even a 0.25 percentage point rise will make a difference.”

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Property news roundup: Price dip or just a blip?

TheIndependent

“With prices levelling out and even tailing off a little in the past month, we could be seeing the first signs of resistance from buyers who are not prepared to pay what sellers are asking. However, this may just be a blip rather than the beginning of a downwards trend in prices.”

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House prices down in April, says Halifax

TheIndependent

“With prices levelling out and even tailing off a little in the past month, we could be seeing the first signs of resistance from buyers who are not prepared to pay what sellers are asking. If buyers are being sensible and refusing to pay over the odds because they can’t afford it, then that is a good thing. While interest rates are low at the moment, they won’t always be and working out whether you can afford your mortgage when rates do rise is a reasonable strategy.

“However, this may just be a blip rather than the beginning of a downwards trend in prices. And while the market may be adjusting, there are pockets of the London housing market where it is still crazy busy while in other parts of the country talk of a bubble is laughable. A national average house price is not at all helpful, as regional variations tend to be significant.”

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House sales up by 46%

TheIndependent

“The capital’s housing market doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. While parts of the country are starting to see a slowdown in price rises, the capital defies the odds. Pressure to buy is still considerable with many buyers competing via open houses and sealed bids for a limited amount of stock.

“The increased availability of mortgage finance at higher loan-to-values is finally making it possible for many frustrated first-time buyers to take a step onto the ladder. The real challenge is finding a property you can afford to buy and being able to secure it in the face of stiff competition before prices move higher still.”

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House prices up more than 5 per cent

TheIndependent

“The gulf in property prices across the UK grows ever bigger with London house prices hitting a new all-time high. There are growing fears that if we are not in bubble territory yet it won’t be long before we are, with the Bank of England raising the alarm about borrowers over-extending themselves.

“The problem mortgage borrowers have is that they are competing against cash buyers who don’t have the same affordability constraints.”

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House prices rising at ‘fastest annual pace since 2007″, Halifax reports

TheIndependent

“Prices continue to rise, mainly owing to a lack of stock coming to market, but the average value remains 10 per cent below the August 2007 peak. The question is what does this mean for Mark Carney? Does he leave things as they are or seek to put some limitations on schemes such as Help to Buy in order to stop prices running away with themselves?

“The housing market is off the ventilator and is breathing unassisted but it still needs oxygen. The market is not functioning normally because interest rates have had to remain at 0.5 per cent for five years. It is clear that this has been a long recovery and it is not over yet. When interest rates do start to rise, it will cause a real problem for those heavily indebted homeowners, and will need to be handled with care.”

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House prices up 7% as demand for homes increases

TheIndependent

“Buyers are considerably more optimistic than they were this time last year. Many are still concerned about the ‘bogy’ of an interest rate rise, although that is a tough call to tell when Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, will make his move. The same upward pressure on house prices is being felt, as supply constraints don’t appear to be ending anytime soon.”

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House prices up by 8.8% in 2013, Nationwide says

 

TheIndependent

“What is really good news is that this is the first time we have seen first time buyers driving the market forwards and upwards, representing 44 per cent of lending activity in the last three months of 2013. This is critical to the wellbeing of the housing market, as it unlocks mobility, enabling subsequent buyers to move up the housing ladder and is not something we have seen for a while.

 

“We are also seeing a sensible mortgage market, with 20 per cent deposits for first time buyers and more mortgages being taken on a repayment basis as opposed to interest-only. While this is no doubt a reflection of the strict supply of interest-only mortgages, it also means that first time buyers are possibly getting help from the Bank of Mum and Dad and we are seeing some of the effects of Help to Buy filtering though into the numbers. The biggest threat comes from a lack of supply. Whilst the latest GDP figures show construction picking up, we are still faced with the long lead times to bring these properties to market.”

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North-South house price divide: turning into a chasm?

TheIndependent

“We are starting to see house price growth in other parts of the country. This will balance things out a bit but it will never be anything like the growth in the capital. Demand for property is much greater there.” But others are less sanguine about the price chasm and its economic effects, suggesting a potential brain drain from the capital.

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Average UK house prices predicted to rise by a quarter in next five years

TheIndependent

‘While October figures are still moving ahead and are higher than the previous three months, what we are also seeing is a growth slowdown on a quarterly basis.

“There may be a ‘press-commentary-effect’ here, where people are taking note of what is being said in the press about a housing bubble and then thinking twice before jumping in. That said, we are also entering a quieter phase for the market, with December traditionally a subdued month for housing transactions. So sellers may well be thinking ‘let’s get on with things’ before the December period and get our house sold.”

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