February House Price Index: Supply remains close to record lows

February House Price Index: Supply remains close to record lows

Both Halifax and Nationwide are able to agree that home sales are on an upward trend and the UK economy is performing resiliently.

Halifax report a 4.9% growth in sales between December and January that formed the fourth successive month of growth. 104,820 sales was the most since March 2016, which was dramatically bolstered by the then imminent introduction of higher stamp duty rates.

January house price index: record low supply presents opportunity for buy-to-let investor

Nationwide’s Gardner commented on the economic stability saying that “the UK economy has continued to perform relatively strongly. The economy accelerated slightly in Q4, expanding by a healthy 0.7% quarter-on-quarter, and the unemployment rate remained stable at an 11-year low of 4.8%”.

“Housing demand is being supported by an economy that continues to perform well with employment still expanding. Meanwhile, the supply of both new homes and existing properties available remains low. This combination is pushing up prices.”

Halifax reinforced Nationwide’s concerns surrounding the low volume of properties hitting the market, claiming that the number has failed to increase for 11 successive months and that the average number of stock on estate agents books remains close to record lows.

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Nationwide were keen to point out that the importance of the role of cash buyers is even more so now than it was a decade ago, when the proportion of cash transactions rose dramatically from 20% to 35% in the three years to 2008. They also pointed out that “the low interest rate environment at home and abroad has also continued to support the flow of cash into other assets, including UK residential property”.

One major positive outlook made clear by Halifax is that mortgage affordability is significantly stronger than a decade ago, with the proportion of disposable earnings devoted to mortgage payments improving by 18%, now at 30% compared to 48% in 2007.

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