Limited stock helps house prices remain steady in June

Despite ongoing mortgage rate uncertainty, house prices are continuing to make gains on the ground lost in the wake of the mini-budget, according to newly released figures from Home.

Related topics:  Property,  house prices
Property | Reporter
19th June 2023
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"Unprecedented demand in the rental market is playing a key role in restrict­ing supply in the sales market"

According to's June report, marketing times are in the normal range and in no way indicate an overall slowdown. The northern regions, Scotland and Wales all show considera­ble improvements in their 2018 figures, while London and the southern English regions show slight increases compared to their pre-COVID figures.

Rapidly rising stock levels, which pre­viously gave cause for concern, may well have maxed out below the 10-year average, and this would be consist­ent with the seasonal ebb and flow of agents' portfolios which typically peak during the summer months.

Supply of new instructions remains subdued and is currently running at 15% less than in May 2018. Going forward, this relative scarcity will serve to support prices fur­ther.

All these key indicators show how truly resilient the market is: both quick to adapt to even severe financial shocks and then quick to recover. Of course, the unprecedented demand in the rental market is playing a key role in restrict­ing supply in the sales market.

Vastly improved yields and very short void periods (typically less than three weeks) make letting an attractive option for hes­itant potential vendors.

Rents continue to rise overall. The mix-adjusted average annualised rise for the UK stands at 11.4%. Supply remains tight in the face of overwhelm­ing demand. This is undoubtedly the unintended consequence of many years of landlord disincentivisation through increased taxation and regulation.

The levelling up agenda has, ironically, made it even more difficult for renters to get a foot on the property ladder while rising rents gobble up any spare cash they might have had.

Meanwhile, the HMRC is clearly the main beneficiary, along with local coun­cils and their costly yet mandatory regis­tration schemes.

Contrary to all the doom and gloom in the media, mortgage rates remain around 4% which remains extraordi­narily reasonable relative to the rate of inflation despite the recent decline. Of course, the welcome drop in both CPI and RPI reduces the risks of further hikes in the Bank of England base rate and this will serve to encourage buyer demand.

Furthermore, the drop in April's inflation reading may serve to mark a trend rever­sal in real price growth.

The annualised mix-adjusted aver­age asking price growth across England and Wales is now -1.3; in June 2022, the annualised rate of increase of home prices was 6.5%.

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