Press Round Up
Property prices may have fallen in London for the 19th month in a row, according to the Land Registry, but it could have been worse, Jeremy Leaf, principal of Jeremy Leaf & Co, told The Evening Standard: ‘The surprising aspect perhaps of these figures is that there hasn’t been more of a reduction in view of the recent political turmoil. But what we are finding on the ground is relief that the end of the beginning at least may soon be in sight for Brexit uncertainty. This is resulting in more realism and release of some pent-up demand in expectation of some post-election improvement in activity.’
New-buyer enquiries remained negative in October, according to the RICS survey. Jeremy Leaf told The Daily Mail: ‘The RICS survey commands more respect than most by virtue of its longevity and accuracy, so these results are no surprise in view of the protracted political uncertainty. Although more sentiment based, RICS always provides a useful direction of travel for the market. At the coalface, we have noticed a little more optimism recently as needs-driven buyers and sellers anticipate post-election activity. It is always worth remembering that demand cannot remain pent-up indefinitely.’
There was some good news, however, with first-time buyer numbers continuing to rise in September, according to UK Finance. Jeremy Leaf told The Times: ‘It is good to see more first-time buyer mortgages completed in September, showing how this group are continuing to take the place of buy-to-let landlords.’ He added in BBC News that the situation was not going to get any better for landlords: ‘Many are still discouraged from adding to portfolios by successive tax and regulatory changes, with more on the way.’
Property prices across the UK have risen at the fastest pace since April, according to the Nationwide. Jeremy Leaf told This is Money that the data shows the housing market remains ‘largely on hold but still relatively resilient’.
The number of new properties up for sale has fallen by 15 per cent year-on-year, according to Rightmove. Talking to Your Money, Jeremy Leaf said: What is surprising is that sales agreed seem to have held up very well. Less choice can result in more sales as the lack of stock focuses the mind.’