Thu 06 Jul 2023
Jeremy Leaf, Principal
Several lenders have increased their mortgage rates and/or pulled some products completely thanks to turbulent market conditions. Jeremy Leaf, principal of Jeremy Leaf & Co, told ITV News: ’The recent increases have certainly hit like a missile on the market with many lenders taken by surprise by current market conditions.'
Britain’s rental market also seems to be in crisis. Jeremy Leaf told The Times that soaring demand from tenants and rising mortgage rates have resulted in some landlords not maintaining their properties as well as before. ‘We say to landlords that they ought to tart up a bathroom or kitchen, for example, and we increasingly get the response that they will leave it.’
Are garden towns set for a renaissance? Jeremy Leaf told The Daily Mail that there is plenty to recommend them, even if living in one can take some getting used to: 'It can be very difficult for homeowners today to accept what they have to do to comply with the rules but there is no doubt that if strict rules are enforced, this helps maintain the appearance of the area and property values.'
Despite plenty of negative reports about the housing market, London home sellers are asking the same for their homes as this time last year, says Rightmove, with the average asking price still £685,200. Jeremy Leaf told The Evening Standard: ‘As expected, recent mortgage market turbulence is dampening the increase in prices and activity which we would usually see at this time of year. However, these are, of course, only aspirational not achieved values. On the street, prices are softening as cash and equity-rich buyers in particular continue to hold sway over those relying on increasingly hard-to-obtain loans. Negative publicity is helping lower expectations and encourage more seller realism.'
The mortgage crisis is forcing more than two in five sellers to accept lower prices for their homes, according to Zoopla’s latest property price index. Jeremy Leaf told The Telegraph that he wasn’t seeing sellers reduce their prices substantially but explained that mortgage turbulence was benefiting cash buyers: 'There’s no doubt that this mortgage market turbulence has compromised confidence in asking prices and activity but in some areas, we are seeing the cash and equity-rich increasingly prevailing over those relying on increasingly hard-to-find mortgages.'
Transaction numbers fell by 27 per cent in May compared with the same month a year earlier, according to HMRC. Jeremy Leaf told City AM: ’The downwards trend in transaction numbers continues, partly highlighted by the strong numbers prevailing at this time last year. Transactions always provide a more accurate reflection of market health than property prices. More upheaval and inflation concerns have meant fewer buyers and more protracted negotiations, which is resulting in fewer transactions. However, buyers and sellers still seem determined, where finances permit, to ensure sales proceed though they are taking their time over it.'