MAY 2019 PRESS ROUND-UP Tue 28 May 2019

Media coverage highlights from May 2019
Media coverage highlights from May 2019

MAY 2019 PRESS ROUND-UP

The housing market continued to favour first-time buyers with prices rising by less than 1 per cent in April, according to Nationwide. Jeremy Leaf, principal of Jeremy Leaf & Co, told The Guardian: ‘Soft growth in the last set of figures from Nationwide is continuing and confirmed on the high street. Clearly, Brexit uncertainty in the minds of homebuyers is still outweighing almost record low mortgage rates and employment numbers as well as improved affordability.’ He explained further in The Express: ‘A glimmer of good news is that first-time buyers are taking advantage, particularly of help to buy and deposits from the bank of mum and dad, not forgetting reduced competition from landlords.’
 
Volatility is affecting the UK housing market as Halifax recorded a sharp jump in house prices. Jeremy Leaf told City AM that the figures signal ‘a spring bounce but not as great as we might have expected’. He added in The Times: ‘The market is quite volatile, bearing in mind the fall in prices last month. The price increases recorded are probably more to do with shortage of stock and lower transactions than sustainable market strength.’ 
 
Data from UK Finance suggests that more and more landlords are falling behind on their mortgage payments. Jeremy Leaf told This is Money: ‘The softening in the housing market is reflected in these figures, particularly for buy-to-let landlords who are falling into arrears from the pressure of tax and regulatory changes, as we might have expected.’
 
The average price of a home fresh to market jumped £2,800 in May, according to Rightmove. Jeremy Leaf told The Mirror: ‘Asking prices are not selling prices, which explains why some of these figures do not match results from other recent housing surveys. Overall, although there has been little change, that masks considerable regional differences. For instance, London is acting as a drag on the rest of the UK housing market and prices don’t include inflation so have risen or fallen further in real terms.’
 
London homeowners have seen price falls of 1.9 per cent, according to the Office for National Statistics. Jeremy Leaf told Moneywise: ‘On the ground, we are seeing pent-up demand drip-feeding back into the market, but many sellers buoyed by significant equity are still finding it difficult to accept the realities of today’s new norm.’

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