The Inside Edge
As the first week of July comes to an end, the usual sets of conflicting property price figures for the previous month are coming in. Among the falls currently being reported, the Nationwide claim that figures across the UK fell by 0.6% in June and this continues the sharpest decline for three years.
Among the likely causes as far as Nationwide are concerned are the end of the Stamp Duty holiday and the weakness of the economy as a whole. It says that there is little indication of an upturn in economic fortunes in the near future and as such, the housing market faces an extended period of uncertainty.
“Economic conditions are expected to remain challenging over the next twelve months,” said Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist.
“However, policymakers’ efforts to bolster the supply of credit to the economy and to help lower the cost should provide support to demand.”
The figures confirm that the average price of a property in the UK now stands at £165,738. The society also state that the quarterly price figures fell by 0.9% in June compared to the findings from March of this year.
We were promised a challenging summer with Jubilee celebrations followed by the Olympics and some property experts are claiming that the effects are already being realised.
“The Olympics and traditional summer lull mean the next few months look set to be even more challenging,” said Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients.
“It is still too early to see what effect the emergency funding from the Bank of England will have, and whether it will mean cheaper mortgages for those with small deposits, as well as those with sizeable down payments.”
Meanwhile, figures from the Land Registry have been produced this week and while they are a month behind those of the Nationwide, it claims a 0.5% rise in UK house prices between April and May 2012.
Figures such as these always seem to vary, depending on their source, although those from the land Registry are generally viewed as being the most comprehensive. It is, however widely accepted that an uncertain few months lies ahead.
“What is consistent across the country is that the volume of transactions is well below what we were seeing at the height of the market,” said independent house buying agent Gabby Adler.
“Many vendors are waiting to see what happens with the economy, while many would-be buyers believe they will not be able to get mortgage finance so there is no point in trying.”