FEBRUARY 2019 PRESS ROUND-UP!Owning a home is more affordable now than it was 10 years ago, despite huge price rises in that period. Jeremy Leaf, principal of Jeremy Leaf & Co, told The Daily Telegraph: ‘More competitive property prices and cheap mortgage rates are tempting first-time buyers to dip a toe in the water. All these factors should give confidence and persuade first-time buyers to put concerns about Brexit to one side.’
Slow broadband can knock up to 20 per cent off the value of your home and could even stop it selling. Jeremy Leaf told The Daily Mail: ‘Poor broadband can be the difference between buying or renting a property and not. Particularly for young people dependent on the internet, it’s fundamental and it can make a huge difference. Some vendors are now going to efforts to ensure their properties’ broadband speeds are adequate before putting houses on the market.’
House prices in the UK fell 2.9 per cent in January compared with the previous month and the annual growth rate slowed sharply as Brexit fears put off buyers, according to the Halifax. Jeremy Leaf told The Guardian that interest from buyers was ‘very patchy’ and he did ‘not expect any significant improvement at least until the odds on a Brexit deal improve’. He explained further in City AM: ‘What we are seeing on the ground is the release of some pent-up demand prompting more listings, viewings and offers over the past few weeks than we dared hope for.’
Nationwide’s latest house price index pointed to a similar slowdown, with the building society reporting that house price growth ground to a halt in January. Jeremy Leaf told The Daily Telegraph that the figures confirmed a market ‘struggling to weather the Brexit storm, but not collapsing’.
The number of homes repossessed in 2018 was at its lowest level for almost 40 years, according to UK Finance. Jeremy Leaf told The Mirror: ‘Repossession is a last resort and rarely in anyone’s best interests, particularly as the market remains soft. Hopefully, as uncertainty reduces and more strength returns to the market post-Brexit we will see a return to more normal conditions.’