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House price growth cooled in August, according to Nationwide building society. Jeremy Leaf, principal of Jeremy Leaf & Co, told The Evening Standard: ’Rises in the cost of living and interest rates are certainly making a difference but the latter has not filtered through to the figures yet, bearing in mind so many borrowers are on fixed-rate terms.'

Tolerance of neighbours has plummeted during the past two years, according to research from Churchill Home Insurance. Jeremy Leaf told Mail Online: ’Unless you have the budget to live in splendid isolation in the middle of nowhere it is likely that you will come across neighbours. Generally speaking, positive neighbour experiences add to the value and saleability of a property while the other sort can have the opposite effect. Before buying or renting property it is always a good idea to try to find out a bit more about one’s neighbours. There may be secrets to unravel; do some research online as to what’s happening locally, such as petitions, planning applications, proposed public works and planning schemes. It is also worth visiting the property at different times of day and night and on different days, including weekends, as the neighbourhood culture can vary considerably.'

A recession in the UK looks almost inevitable, although some agents are reporting a buying frenzy and flood of properties onto the housing market. However, Jeremy Leaf told The Observer: ‘I am expecting a slowdown. There are fewer inquiries, and prices are already softening a bit. It’s becoming a more normal market, a return to what was prevailing before Covid.'

The government has announced a stamp duty cut in its mini-Budget, with the threshold at which it is paid rising to £250,000 from £125,000. Jeremy Leaf told BBC News: ’The stamp duty cut should encourage those at the first rung of the housing ladder to take the plunge.’ He said that would be good not just for the market but for job and social mobility across the board, as well as the wider economy.

Seven rate rises since last year have pushed up interest payments, with a rise to 5.5 per cent an ‘imminent possibility, according to HSBC. Jeremy Leaf told The Daily Express: ‘These figures look very much like the calm before the potential storm, following the recent turmoil on the financial markets. Nevertheless, we certainly believe activity will retain its momentum for a few months at least as buyers seek to take advantage of lower mortgage rates before they climb even higher.'