Mortgage restrictions flattening housing market

Despite the recent slowdown of growth in London, the most expensive property types and local authorities continued a trend of diverging prices in August

Robert Bartlett, Chesterton Humberts’ CEO, comments:

“As is traditional, August was a quieter month with activity levels dropping across the country during the holiday season. However, real time evidence points to a flattening off in the market, with actual prices being achieved remaining stable as opposed to a drop in values. At this stage we still do not see signs of any dramatic downturn in values, although we do expect trading activity levels to be more restricted than in the first six months of the year.”

“The tight mortgage market continues to be the major restrictor to the overall market. Many banks remain wary of the market and it is clear that many buyers are unable to secure a firm mortgage offer due to very conservative bank mortgage valuations. In some instances we are seeing mortgage valuations as much as 40% down on the actual price the buyer has offered. This is becoming increasingly more frustrating for both the buyers, keen to purchase the property, and vendors who cannot understand why in an open market the price offered does not equate to the market value.”

Douglas McWilliams, Chief Executive of CEBR, comments:

”The majority of house price and asking price indices tracked by the Polls of Polls show either small positive changes or no growth at all for the latest month of data. It looks as though those fearing a continuation of the monthly falls at the beginning of summer can rest easier. While we expect house price growth to be relatively flat over the next year we do not see pronounced double dip as a likely outcome. Positive net immigration and a narrowing of spreads with a more supportive monetary policy should ultimately keep house prices afloat, even in the absence of any significant growth”.

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