House prices gain 4.7% in the year to May

UK HPI: House prices gain 4.7% in the year to May

UK HPI: House prices gain 4.7% in the year to May

According to May’s UK House Price Index, average house prices in the UK have increased by 4.7% in the year to May 2017 – down from 5.3% in the year to April 2017.

The data also revealed that the annual growth rate has slowed since mid-2016 but has remained broadly around 5% during 2017.

Regionally, East of England showed the highest annual growth, with prices increasing by 7.5% in the year to May 2017. This was followed by the East Midlands at 7.2%.

The North East experienced both the greatest monthly price growth with an increase of 1.8% and the lowest annual price growth with a movement of 1.6%. London and the South East saw the most significant monthly price falls of 0.3% each.

The UK Property Transaction statistics showed that in May 2017 the number of seasonally adjusted property transactions completed in the UK with a value of £40,000 or above increased by 13.4% compared to May 2016. The unusually low level of transactions in May 2016 was associated with the introduction of the higher tax rates on additional properties introduced from 1 April 2016.

Comparing May 2017 to April 2017, property transactions fell by 3.3%.

Russell Quirk, founder and CEO of eMoov.co.uk, commented: “The latest government figures show that where actual property sale completions are concerned, the market maintained a slight upward trend in May, up 0.5%, ahead of June’s election, whereas mortgage approval data from the likes of Nationwide and Halifax showed a slow in pace in the same time period.

Although this provides two contrasting views of the UK market, it makes sense that those in the middle of the sale would move quickly to push it through before any detrimental election impact on their property value occurs. Whilst those looking to buy a property would put their mortgage application on ice until the political storm clouds had passed.

The UK property market at present is as unpredictable as the economic and political landscapes that are influencing its buyer and seller demand. But whilst these top line figures paint a picture of a marginally declining market, it is important to note that annual growth is still up and there are still areas of the nation performing very well where property price growth is concerned.

In the current UK summer property raffle, homeowners in the Shetland Islands, Pendle and the Isle of Anglesey will be going home rather annoyed that their property has seen the largest monthly fall in value. However, those in Scarborough, East Ayrshire and Kensington and Chelsea will be delighted that their purchase has materialised into first place property price growth.”

John Goodall, CEO and co-founder of buy-to-let specialist lender Landbay comments: “Against a backdrop of increased political and economic uncertainty, house prices have slowed in their march upwards, suggesting that buyers are starting to feel the pressure of falling real wages and entering the market in fewer numbers. But demand is only half of the story, insufficient housebuilding continues to restrict the number of available homes for sale, which may not be creating house price pressure at the moment, but will when demand begins to pick up again.

While the pace of house price growth may have slowed, house prices still continue to rise, ultimately meaning that fewer people can afford to buy, which can only place greater pressure on the UK’s rental sector. For that reason it’s essential that new construction is planned across all tenures, so that rents don’t escalate to the point where they’re inhibiting aspiring homeowners’ ability to save for a deposit. Quite simply, we need to build more purpose built rental homes to support those hoping to take their first steps onto the property ladder.”

Nick Leeming, Chairman at Jackson-Stops & Staff, comments: “This month’s data covers a significant chunk of time between Theresa May’s snap general election announcement and the shock result in June. Despite this macro-political bombshell, nothing drastic happened in May to house prices, with annual price growth still around the 5% mark, which has been the trend throughout 2017, and a slight monthly increase on April 2017.

This is reinforced by our branches which reported after the general election announcement that buyers and sellers remained broadly resilient to economic and political factors and eager to progress in their lives by buying and/or selling their home. Buyers have been broadly supported by the availability of highly favourable mortgage deals and lack of new housing supply also continues to prop up house price growth.

Home owners in the East of England will no doubt be delighted that their region continues to accelerate ahead of the rest of the UK, exhibiting the highest annual growth rate of any region yet again.  All regional markets remain positive in terms of annual growth which just goes to show the resilience of the UK property market despite the various uncertainties generated by Brexit and politics at home.”

Jeff Knight, Director of Marketing for Foundation Home Loans, commented: “House price growth certainly isn’t storming ahead, and it can’t be denied that the cocktail of recent political and economic news has had a dulling effect. While buyers won’t be hugely deterred – with mortgage approvals rising in May – any creeping rise certainly won’t be welcome at a time when wages are lagging behind inflation.

Stock remains an issue, and lack of supply will continue to nudge prices up. It’s therefore important that there is a diverse mix of rental property available, so that tenants saving for a deposit can be confident in high standards. The buy to let sector is a growing part of the housing mix and, in the time home ownership remains out of reach for some, an increasingly crucial one.”

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, says: “These figures are interesting because they show the market demonstrating resilience at a time of turmoil in the political and economic worlds and shrugging off concerns about possible falls in prices. Transaction numbers remain broadly in line with what we would expect after the impact of the stamp duty change 12 months ago.

On the ground, we are seeing once again buyers and sellers getting on with their moves albeit negotiating much harder. Looking forward, we don’t expect the situation to change and in fact some may be encouraged by the fall in inflation, easing the prospects for household finances and affordability.”

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, says: “The easing inflation figures may start to take a little pressure off the need to increase interest rates, of which there has been much speculation in the past couple of weeks. What we do know is that mortgage rates continue to remain competitive and there are some exceptional deals, particularly on two- and five-year fixes.

The markets are factoring in a rise in base rate later this year but we don’t expect anything more than a return to 0.5 per cent, effectively a rewinding of the cut last August, and medium to long-term rates are going nowhere.

There are great opportunities out there and no need to panic. They will be around for a good while yet.”

Alex Gosling, CEO, online estate agents HouseSimple.com, comments: “Post credit crunch it was the London property market that effectively stopped the entire UK housing market from collapsing.

Foreign investors pumped money into London property, seeing it as a safe investment during economically turbulent times. The London market has enjoyed a spectacular period of growth ever since. Fast forward to today, and the capital’s property market is no longer looking quite as safe an investment.

Price growth in London over the past year is languishing at 3.0%, the second worst performing region in the UK. And it’s one of only two regions where house prices fell in May. The London property boom feels like it’s well and truly over.”

Paul Smith, CEO of haart estate agents, comments: “This month’s house price data shows no evidence of a housing crash, or even prices that are losing momentum. First-time buyers, second steppers and families are all having to pull together an extra £10,000 to buy a home today compared to the same time last year. At a time when real incomes are under pressure as inflation overtakes wage growth, it is vital the government gets a grip on housebuilding to ensure there are enough properties available and that people have the ability to and take the next step in their life.

Today’s data also gives the first full picture of how the regional outlook has changed following the introduction of a Stamp Duty surcharge. This time last year London was leading the way with almost 14% annual growth. Today we see it trailing behind the rest of the country, bar the North East, with just 3% growth. Although this may come as welcome news to those looking to buy in the capital, it does show the extreme effect the Government’s move has had on London’s economy, and on the rental market. Our latest monitor shows the Landlord registrations are down 52% on the year in the capital. And there is no doubt that this is due to the Stamp Duty change.”

House price growth

The increase left the typical UK home costing £205,846, according to Nationwide

What’s the latest?

House price growth sped up in February with property values climbing by 0.6%.

The increase, which followed a 0.2% rise in January, left the typical UK home costing £205,846.

The annual rate at which house prices are increasing also picked up slightly during the month to stand at 4.5%, compared with 4.3% in the year to the end of January, according to Nationwide Building Society.

Why is this happening?

Nationwide said the housing market continued to be supported by the UK economy, which remained relatively strong.

Economic growth accelerated slightly between October and December, while the unemployment rate remained stable at an 11-year low of 4.8%.

But the group warned the outlook was uncertain, and the economy was likely to slow down during 2017, with consumer spending hit by the weaker pound.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “Nevertheless, in our view a small rise in house prices of around 2% is more likely than a decline over the course of 2017, since low borrowing costs and the dearth of homes on the market will continue to support prices.”

image: https://st.zoocdn.com/zoopla_static_cms_content_cms_document_assets_(426074).jpeg

Home for sale in Ascot.Above: four-bedroom home on Kings Road in Sunninghill near Ascot 

Who does it affect?

The fact that the heat appears to have come out of the property market is good news for those looking to buy a home as it takes off some of the pressure to purchase somewhere quickly.

But the ongoing shortage of homes for sale continues to be an issue as it limits choice for potential buyers.

The fact that house price growth is expected to slow further may also have an impact on stock levels, as homeowners are more likely to put their homes on the market to ‘test the water’ during periods of strong increases in property values.

Sounds interesting. What’s the background?

Nationwide said there had been a significant increase in the proportion of people buying property with cash during the past decade.

It said cash transactions had soared from just 20% of all purchases in 2005/2006 to around 35% now.

But Nationwide said the rise was driven by a decline in mortgage lending, rather than a jump in actual cash transactions.

Even so, the share of cash buyers has not fallen back as the economy has recovered and lending has picked up again.

The level of people buying with cash peaked at 38.9% in the first quarter of 2016 as investors rushed to complete purchases before new higher stamp duty rates came into force in April.

Top 3 takeaways

  • House price growth sped up in February with property values climbing by 0.6%.
  • The increase, which followed a rise of 0.2% in January, left the typical home costing £205,846.
  • The annual rate at which prices are increasing also picked up slightly during the month to stand at 4.5%, compared with 4.3% in the year to the end of January.

What’s the cost of buying a home ? lets have a look

What’s the cost of buying a home?

buying a houseSo, you’ve spent more time than you care to admit on Rightmove homing in on the ideal area for you to live. You’ve seen one too many floorplans, fallen asleep dreaming of furniture placements and started making colour charts for the prospective kitchen…

 You’ve decided to take the plunge and buy a home so let’s get this show on the road!

The next step is to talk money but, as a first-time buyer, what fees do you need to think about that might not have come to mind yet?

Deposit

This will normally be around 5% – 20% of the property price which you will pay upfront to your solicitor, to secure the property. You want to get together as big a deposit as possible in order to get the best mortgage rates.

Mortgages

You will need to speak to a Mortgage Adviser to find out how much they will lend you. The amount will depend on your salary, the size of your deposit and credit history. If you’re not planning to buy immediately, there are several things you can do to improve your chances of getting a better mortgage i.e. you may get a better interest rate if your credit rating is better.

There are many things to think about when selecting a Mortgage Adviser – such as whether to go through a broker or direct to the lender. Although their rates will be different, it is more important to look at which will support your personal circumstances the best. Regardless of whether you go through a broker or direct, the adviser should be able to present you with a shortlist of options based on your personal situation to make life easier for you when deciding which to go with.

The other fees you can expect to see, at this stage of the process, are mortgage arrangement fees (which you can pay upfront or roll it into your mortgage repayments), mortgage valuation fee, broker fees and conveyancing transfer fee.

Get a step by step guide to mortgages with our Mortgage Hub here.

Stamp Duty

Stamp Duty isn’t just for the millionaires amongst us – it is a charge on any home if the property costs over £125,000. You can see Stamp Duty charges for a particular home price with this calculator here but, in a nutshell, this is how it works:

If the purchase price is £275,000, stamp duty is calculated as follows:

0% on the first £125,000 = £0

2% on the next £125,000 = £2,500

5% on the final £   25,000 = £1,250

Total stamp duty payable = £3,750

Be aware: this is the way stamp duty is calculated if this is your only home, but if it’s a buy to let investment or a second home, different rules apply.

Valuation and surveyor’s fees

The next step is for your mortgage provider to create a mortgage valuation report on the property as a means to check its market value and condition. There are three different report tiers to choose from, ranging from the most basic “Mortgage Valuation”, to the most comprehensive “Buildings Survey”. These may seem like an unnecessary fee, but it’s better to be fully aware of any potential problems you may face in the future with the property, before going any further with the purchase. You will usually be required to pay upfront for the cost of whichever report type you choose. Find out about the three different options below:

Mortgage Valuation – This is required by all lenders and is the minimum level of report required. The report checks that the property‘s cost is in line with current market values, as well as other basic checks.

Homebuyer’s Report – This is a much more detailed version of the Mortgage Valuation. In this report, they will look at all visible aspects of the home and recommend changes as well as any causes for concern. This may be easiest and cheaper if you use the same person who is doing your Mortgage Valuation.

Buildings Survey – This is the most detailed kind of survey. Recommended for older structures, period properties or homes which have had alterations (or which you plan to renovate), the surveyor will look thoroughly for problems with damp, within the roof and structure, rotting or with the foundations etc. They will also provide you will estimate prices for maintenance work.

Remember: when you’ve received your report, don’t just put that onto your pile of paperwork – make sure you read it and understand it thoroughly before you proceed with the home buying process.

Solicitor fees

A solicitor will be needed to help with the legal side of buying a home and may offer other services, such as local searches – which check out if there may be any local plans or issues going on which could affect you as a prospective owner. They will also charge for solicitor fees, disbursements and Land Registry fees – so these fees could rack up. Have a look at this calculator to see what your expected legal fees could be.

It is, again, important to do your research into several solicitors to pick the right one for you. The more expensive ‘no sale, no fee’ option is great for protecting yourself incase the sale falls through or you could get a much cheaper option but you will still have to pay their fees if the process is halted. Also, do you want a local or a call centre-type service? A local solicitor may be slightly more expensive but they may have more local knowledge and you can go in and pester them if you want to push the process along!

And when you’re ready to move…

That’s a blog for a different day, but you’ll need to keep some funds aside for removals companies (use our local removals tool here), ground rent if you’re buying a leasehold flat, the cost of changing the locks and house insurance, once you move.

There may seem like a lot of costs here, but it’s best to know what you’re dealing with and what the options are upfront, so you can make sure you have saved enough before you start and you don’t have to cut corners. It also means you  can do the necessary research and know your options when it comes to picking solicitors and mortgage advisors. Why not print this list off and tick them off as you go along? Good luck with your move!