The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has weighed into the debate recently, saying that the Bank of England is to be blamed for the drastic slowing down of the property market, characterised by sellers’ reluctance. The CML says that home owners would prefer to stay put and do up their current homes.
CML economist Bob Pannell was quoted as saying that it is nearly three years since the Bank’s Financial Policy Committee intervened “to slow the future projector of the UK housing market”.
Pannell said: “Arguably it has been more successful than it was originally hoped.
“Whereas its consultation paper in June 2014 referred to a central scenario in which house purchase approvals would now be averaging 270,000 each quarter, the latest three-month total is only 205,000.”
Meanwhile the latest figures from HM Revenue & Customs showed that the number of UK residential property transactions dropped by 40% annually in March 2017.
HMRC’s UK property transaction statistics for March this year showed 102,740 sales during the month, compared with 173,860 for the same month last year. Remember though, that in March last year parts of the market were skewed by a stampede by investors and 2nd home buyers to complete purchases before Stamp Duty on the purchase of second or more properties was hiked by 3%.
Rightmove published it’s latest House Price Index this week and here were the headlines, which support our won view of the market:
- Price of property coming to market hits record high, up 1.1% (+£3,547) to £313,655 this month, though lower than the average increase of 1.6% at this time of year over the past seven years
- Overall annual pace of increase continues to slow, now at 2.2%, the lowest for four years:
- First-time buyer sector is driving growth, up 6.5% annually to new record of £194,881
- Strong buyer activity with the number of sales agreed the highest at this time of year since 2007, before the credit crunch
So, in summary, it is clear that there is a shortage of property for sale. It remains a great time to get your house on the market – election or no election!
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