Mon 16 May 2022
House prices have soared by £33,000 in a year, according to Nationwide building society. Jeremy Leaf, principal of Jeremy Leaf & Co, told The Express: ’Nationwide’s house price index is respected for its accuracy and reliability but its latest report has a whiff of yesterday’s news. It shows prices rising strongly based on mortgages granted for sales agreed months ago, rather than reflecting what’s happening at the sharp end today. There has been a mismatch between supply and demand over the last 18 months but that is now balancing out.'
Meanwhile, Halifax’s April house price index saw prices increase by more than £43,000 since the start of the pandemic, reaching a record high in March. Jeremy Leaf told The Financial Times that there is still plenty of market resilience ‘but increasingly stretched affordability is inevitably putting a brake on price growth and transaction numbers’.
A This is Money reader asks whether he should pay less council tax than his neighbours who have extended or improved their homes yet are paying the same. Jeremy Leaf told This is Money: ’This is very frustrating for you and highlights the inequity of the existing council tax system, which is long due an overhaul. It seems very unfair that someone with a much bigger house in your road should be paying less council tax than you, and I understand why you want to address this issue but this is easier said than done.'
London property prices are rising at their fastest rate for more than five years, according to the Land Registry. Jeremy Leaf told The Evening Standard: ’These numbers show house prices continuing on their apparently inexorable upward path but that’s not quite what’s happening on the ground now. Demand is still well ahead of supply but concerns about the rising cost of living, squeezed pay packets and potentially further interest rate rises, are reducing price growth and transaction numbers. Looking forward, we expect activity to return to more ’normal’ pre-pandemic conditions as supply picks up as part of the usual spring bounce.'
The UK’s housing market could be returning to stability, according to HM Revenue & Customs, before deals pick up as warmer weather blankets the country. The levelling out of transactions year-on-year could signal that buyers are feeling less reluctant to spend given the UK’s economic position. Jeremy Leaf told City AM: ’The rising cost of living and interest rates, especially for those on tight budgets, are contributing to an easing of price growth and a drop in sales.'
There is evidence that house price growth is starting to slow, according to Nationwide, as the cost of living crisis harms buyer confidence. Jeremy Leaf told The Daily Telegraph: ’Further reductions in house price growth seem inevitable.’