24Feb

The December 2016 house price index data showed a monthly drop of 0.1 per cent across the UK, minus 0.1 per cent in England and minus 1.2 per cent in London.

Regionally, the East of England experienced the highest monthly growth at 1.3 per cent, while prices in the North East fell by minus 1.3 per cent.  

On an annual basis, prices across England rose by 7.4 per cent, bringing the average house price to £232,655.

Despite the dip this month, London prices rose by 7.7 per cent from January to October, making an average London home cost £474,475.

Flats and maisonettes are performing best, with a 7.6 per cent rise compared to October 2015, proving that they can be a great investment. Terraced properties have seen the slowest growth, rising by 5.4 per cent.

We have the England sales figures for August, and they show a 20.3 per cent drop compared to August 2015. Though that still equates to a lot of people moving, with 67,396 properties exchanging during the month.

The average price of a new build property in England in October was £307,983, which is up 28.6 per cent up on a year ago. Meanwhile, resold property prices averaged at £210,917, which dipped by 0.7 per cent from September, but this is still 5.4 per cent higher than the same time last year.

So what does this tell us? Figures are holding steady, but we aren’t seeing the constant growth that was commonplace before the Brexit vote and extra stamp duty changes, which came into force in 2016.

However, flats and maisonettes are still proving to be great for investors with their steady rise in prices.

28Nov

The August 2016 house price index data showed a monthly rise of 1.3 per cent across the UK, 1.4 per cent in England and 1.3 per cent in London. Regionally, the South West region experienced the highest monthly growth at 2.3 per cent, while prices in the North East region fell at minus 0.2 per cent. 

On an annual basis prices across the UK rose by 8.4 per cent, bringing the average house price to £218,964. In England the increase was 9.2 per cent and the average house price £235,573. London prices rose by 12.1 per cent making an average London home £488,908. The East of England again saw the greatest annual rise at 13.3 per cent, while the North East saw the lowest annual growth at 3 per cent. Annual price increases by property type across the UK were 9 per cent for flats and maisonettes, 8.7 per cent for terraced houses, 8.7 per cent for detached and 8.3 per cent for semi-detached. Terraced property prices rose by 7.8 per cent.

Just five local authority areas saw a fall in prices over the year, notably Hartlepool at minus 6.7 per cent. The highest annual rise was seen in South Bucks at 23.6 percent.

Completed sales for England in June 2016 totalled 57,637, a fall of minus 32.2 per cent compared to a year ago.

The average price of a new build property in England in August was £294,832, up 12.7 per cent on July and up 24.8 per cent up on a year ago. Meanwhile, resold property prices averaged at £214,029, a rise of 0.5 per cent over July and 7.3 per cent higher than the same time last year.

28Nov

The July 2016 house price index data for the UK showed a monthly rise of 0.4 per cent, while in England the increase was slightly higher at 0.5 per cent. In London the monthly change was 1.0 per cent but of the English regions it was the North East region that experienced the highest monthly growth with a rise of 2.3 per cent. Falls were seen in Yorkshire and The Humber, the South West and the West Midlands, the latter seeing the greatest fall at minus 0.8 per cent. 

On an annual basis the price change across the UK was 8.3 per cent, bringing the average house price to £216,750. In England the annual price increase was a little higher at 9.1 per cent and the average house price £232,885. London experienced a rise of 12.3 per cent making the price of an average London home £484,716. However, the East of England again saw the greatest increase over the year with a rise of 13.2 per cent, while Yorkshire and The Humber saw the lowest annual price growth at 4.7 per cent. Annual price increases by property type across the UK showed little difference, ranging from 8.1 per cent for both terraced houses and flats and maisonettes to 8.5 per cent for both detached and semi-detached houses.

Detailed statistics for local authority areas continue to show a wide variation but only five areas saw a fall in prices over the year, including the London boroughs of Camden at minus 0.6 per cent, Hammersmith and Fulham at minus 1.6 per cent, and Kensington and Chelsea at minus 3.0 per cent. The highest annual rise was seen in South Bucks at 22.7 percent, while Stevenage, Haringey, Hertsmere and Newham also saw increases above 20 per cent.

Completed sales for England in May 2016 totalled 49,795, a fall of minus 33.5 per cent compared to a year ago when 74,897 completed house sales were made.

Statistics relating to building status showed that the average price of a new build property in England in July was £295,039, down minus 2.2 per cent on June but up 16.4 per cent on a year ago. The average price of a resold property was £228,779, a rise of 0.7 per cent over June and 8.5 per cent higher than 12 months ago.

Statistics on buyer status in England showed that the average price of a house sold to a first time buyer was £195,484 and to a former owner occupier £264,184. Prices to first time buyers increased by 0.3 per cent over June, while re-purchasers saw an increase of 0.6 per cent. Over the year, prices for first time buyers increased by 8.9 per cent and for former owner occupiers by 9.2 per cent.

The latest figures on funding status, which compare average cash and mortgage prices, show that in England the average cash price was £218,331 and the average mortgage price was £240,233. The monthly increase in prices for cash buyers was 0.3 per cent, while mortgage purchase prices rose by 0.5 per cent. However, the annual change for cash purchases was 8.3 per cent, while for mortgage purchases it was somewhat higher at 9.4 per cent.

28Nov

The Bank of England decided unanimously to hold the base rate at 0.25% in November, despite suggestions back in August that a further rate cut was possible.

 

Following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union back in June, economic activity was widely expected to weaken.

 

This could have triggered a further cut in rates.

 

However, markets have proved resilient, and economic growth has been higher than expected. The more positive economic outlook means rates are on hold for now.

 

A change in rates has not been ruled out though. The Monetary Policy Committee, which sets interest rates, indicated that they would move rates in either direction to respond to changes in economic outlook.

 

Factors which could affect their decision include rising inflation, or the cost of living, and the impact of Brexit.

 

According to the Bank of England, inflation is set to increase sharply next year. If it exceeds the Government’s 2% target, the Monetary Policy Committee may decide to raise the base rate.

 

However, if Britain’s negotiations over how we will leave the EU affect business activity and supply growth, this could lead to a cut in rates.

28Nov

Homebuyers are enjoying record low mortgage rates, but must make sure they understand that there will usually be a penalty to pay if they want to leave their deal early.

 

In return for securing the lower rates on the market, borrowers are typically ‘locked in’ to their deal by lenders imposing hefty early repayment charges. These are usually charged as a percentage of the loan.

 

Early repayment charges are payable if you want to come out of a deal early, switch lender, or make significant capital repayments over the 10% that is typically allowed.

 

Only once the deal ends, and the borrower moves onto the lender’s standard variable rate, will they be free to move without penalty.

 

Early repayment charges can run into thousands of pounds, and the earlier you want to get out of your deal, the steeper the cost will be.

 

Borrowers should therefore always read their mortgage small print carefully before signing up to any deal so they understand the true cost of leaving that deal before it ends.

 

There are options available for borrowers looking for greater flexibility. Some lenders offer deals with no early repayment charges, which would suit those wanting to overpay their mortgage, or who think that their circumstances might change before their deal ends.

 

Before committing to any mortgage deal, borrowers should always consider their future plans and the financial impact that early repayment charges could have.

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