“The market has turned a little since the period the ONS is reflecting and buyers are now taking a breath.
“The upward pressure on prices has subsided as buyers have decided that they won’t pay just anything. We are seeing the market correct itself without the need for blunt instruments of intervention from the Bank of England.
“Potential buyers are also paying heed to the never-ending warnings from Mark Carney regarding interest rate rises. Even those clients of mine who are buying for cash and don’t need a mortgage are paying attention to the warnings, and taking their foot off the gas a little.”
“Confidence is now spreading out to the regions, which is making for a more balanced market. It is not just about London experiencing one thing and the rest of the country something else.
“The market has a 2007 feeling – if you don’t buy now and pay that extortionate price, there is a long queue of people behind you ready to jump in.
“With property prices up 10.5% for first-time buyers compared with a year ago, many people are in danger of being priced out again.”
“The extension of the first phase of Help to Buy until 2020 will be welcomed by house builders who have received a significant boost since the scheme was introduced last April.
“It is telling that the Chancellor has not made the same commitment to extend the mortgage guarantee element of Help to Buy: this may be because it has not been long introduced so it’s too early to judge its full impact.”
“House prices continue to rise so it is no surprise that first-time buyers are also having to pay more with prices 4.9% higher than in August last year.”
“But record low mortgage rates generally mean that affordability is not an issue – yet. However this is something that does need keeping an eye on and borrowers must ensure that they don’t overstretch themselves.”
“The ONS July 2013 numbers are not really a surprise with the main driver of growth coming from London and the South while prices in Scotland and Wales have seen a fall.
“We are again seeing demand and supply economics at play with a limited supply of housing, but yet strong demand, both domestically and from international buyers in London who are helping stimulate the economy.”
Nicholas Ayre, director of buying agents Home Fusion, said: “While the end of the stamp duty holiday has been a factor in driving prices down, it’s by no means the main factor. As Bill Clinton once said, it’s the economy, stupid. Moving forward, it’s hard to see prices getting out of the rut they are currently in. Mortgage criteria and products are tightening, as seen with the Co-op’s withdrawal from interest-only. It’s getting a lot harder to buy.
Nicholas Ayre, director of UK buying agents, Home Fusion, agreed that stamp duty did play a part in the slowdown: “The stamp duty hangover kicked in before the holiday had even ended. Prices rose by 0.6% in February to fall by 1% in March. That’s a thumping headache. Will NewBuy will be the paracetamol the property market needs?”