Thu 16 Nov 2023
House prices fell in September, according to Nationwide building society, but Jeremy Leaf, principal of Jeremy Leaf & Co, remained upbeat, telling The Evening Standard: ‘In our offices, we are not seeing talk of a market correction – rather, promising signs of falling mortgage rates, though modest so far are encouraging viewings and helping to keep existing sales alive. Successive increases in base rate and lender nervousness have meant those with cash have been playing a more significant role now that buyers continue to hold sway.’
It was a similar story with the Halifax house price index, with values also dipping in September. Jeremy Leaf told This is Money: ‘Results confirm what we are seeing on the ground – business is bumping along at a new, lower level as buyers and sellers are encouraged, partly by expectations of lower interest rates and higher rents making refuge in the lettings market less likely, particularly for those taking their first steps on the ladder.’
More dated, but perhaps more authoritative, figures from the Office for National Statistics/Land Registry reveal that house prices increased by 0.2 per cent in the 12 months to August. Jeremy Leaf told Country Life: ‘The figures show resilience at a time of great turbulence for the market on the back of rising mortgage rates.'
Those looking for a quick property sale are increasingly turning to auction. Jeremy Leaf told The Telegraph: ‘Landlords unable to raise rents high enough to cover increased mortgage costs and taxation – to say nothing of the increased regulatory burden and lack of capital growth – are being tempted down the auction route.’
And finally, many homeowners regard the number 13 to be unlucky. Jeremy Leaf told The Telegraph: ‘Sometimes developers will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid having a number 13 on the door - it may go from 12A and 12B to 14A and 14B. The local authorities are not always happy about it, but why would they want a property that is worth less? A lot of these phenomena are market driven. If the market is not strong, then superstitions seem to come to the fore. When the market is strong, and stock is low, these things seem to be forgotten.'