“Despite house prices recording their fourteenth successive monthly increase in June, the tide is most definitely turning. Buyers are thinking twice about making such a major investment, worried about overpaying. Another growing concern is affordability, particularly with the looming threat of an interest rate rise, which is now looking increasingly likely.
“Many of those buying for cash are looking at potential growth and worried about the flattening out in the market. The question they are asking is: how long will I now have to wait to realise some growth?”
“The London market powers onwards, according to the Land Registry, 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: it may not sound like much but that’s a 50% jump from where we are now so it needs to be taken seriously.”
“Although the Land Registry reports that prices continue to rise, the housing market is softening as sentiment changes. Estate agents are finding that buyers are increasingly unwilling to pay the crazy prices that some vendors are asking.
“Whether it’s down to affordability or buyers taking heed of concerns about a bubble, they are less willing to risk their money and pay over the odds. And with more property coming onto the market there is less desperation than there was a few months ago.”
“With London house prices up 12.4% in the year to March, according to the Land Registry, 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, with Wales witnessing a significant fall month-on-month, 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.”
“Sellers are in the fortunate position of being able to ask what they like,” he said.
“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.”
“Prices continue to rise, mainly owing to a lack of stock coming to market, but the average value remains 10% 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?
“There are some concerns about buyers paying anything for a property owing to the lack of stock and a certain desperation. But the market as a whole is not running away with itself.”
“We are continuing to see a huge rise in London, showing that London is on a trajectory of its own. With limited supply, huge numbers of houses and flats need to be built to satisfy an intense desire for home ownership.”