“UK house prices in surprise rise in April,” say Nationwide.
“UK house prices rose by 0.5% in April after seven consecutive months of falls, according to the Nationwide building society.
Economists had been expecting average prices to decrease during the month.
Prices had been falling since August last year, after Liz Truss’s mini-budget sparked turmoil on financial markets and drove up borrowing costs.
Nationwide is predicting a “modest recovery” in the housing market as mortgage rates start to come down.
But it said any improvement would be “fairly pedestrian”, as household finances remain under pressure and average earnings have been failing to keep pace with inflation.” – The Guardian.
What is the current status of the UK property market?
UK house prices rose by 0.5% in April after seven months of declines, according to Nationwide building society.
The modest increase took the average price of a home to £260,441 last month, from £257,122 in March. Compared with April last year, prices were down 2.7%, after a 3.1% annual decline in March.
The Nationwide chief economist, Robert Gardner, said the latest figures suggested there were “tentative signs of a recovery”. Property prices are still 4% below their August peak.
And according to Bank of England data, the number of mortgages approved for house purchase in February was nearly 40% below the level a year earlier, and about a third lower than pre-pandemic levels.
In recent months industry data on mortgage applications point to signs of a pickup.
Buying vs. Renting a Property
The UK property market is showing signs of modest recovery, with house prices increasing in April for the first time in eight months.
This comes as good news for those looking to sell their properties, but for those in search of rental accommodation, the news is not so positive.
Rental properties are hard to come by, and rents are steep, with demand outweighing supply in many areas.
“Deals are being done, but a theme coming through in the anecdotal remarks is the need for vendors to recognise the shift in market dynamics,” says a property agent. There is fierce competition among tenants chasing a limited number of homes to rent. This shows no sign of abating either. One agent described it as ‘frenzied’ as tenants try to secure the few available properties.
This, in turn, pushes up rents further and the rental sector is constrained by a lack of homes available to let. This means that rents are getting more expensive. And with no end in sight.
Are rising prices sustainable?
Rising prices will be a blow to potential first-time buyers, who are already facing rising rents and making it hard to save adequately. The continuing rise in many regular bills and food prices is also adding to the financial strain.
However, views among housing market analysts are mixed, with some suggesting that house prices are not guaranteed to rise sustainably.
One financial advisory firm has said: “The housing market always sees a boost in the spring, but don’t confuse this data with the green shoots of recovery.”
Another says: “Buyers are finally making their move after months of waiting and stalling. More transactions are definitely needed for the overall strength of the housing market.”
House buyers are also adjusting to the ‘new normal’ in current mortgage rates.
And, overall, all general indications lead Nationwide expert to hail ‘tentative signs of a recovery’ as buyers’ confidence improves.
What is the most popular type of house being bought?
It is really looking to be the two clear options of large vs. small – with smaller properties coming out on top.
The first-time-buyer sector, consisting of two-bedroom and smaller properties has been leading the recovery to pre-pandemic sales levels, with sales volumes now 4% higher than in March 2019. On the other hand, the second-stepper and top-of-the-ladder sectors, comprising larger homes, are still behind 2019 levels by 4% and 3% respectively.
The first-time buyer sector
This recovery in the first-time-buyer sector is further highlighted by a new record price of £224,963 this month, despite the economic challenges of increased mortgage interest rates and difficulties in saving for a deposit. The strong buyer demand in this sector, which is currently 11% higher than in the same period in 2019, reflects the continued desire of first-time buyers to own their own homes.
“The first-time-buyer sector typically accounts for over a third of all sales which are often the start of chains, so these positive sales agreed figures are good for the health of the whole market” said Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property science.
“The current multi-speed market is highlighted by sales of larger homes continuing to lag behind, with some sellers in the upper sectors likely needing to show a greater degree of pricing restraint to attract buyers in this much more price-sensitive market.”
What does the near future look like in the property market?
“Any upturn is likely to remain fairly pedestrian, as it will take time for household finances to recover, since average earnings have been failing to keep pace with inflation, and by a wide margin over the last few years.”
“While recovery might be slow, the boost in monthly growth, especially in the first-time-buyer sector, does indicate stability returning to the UK housing market.”
Meanwhile, Rightmove gave a more optimistic outlook with reports that sales agreed numbers surpassed September levels for the first time since the market dip in September 2022. Zoopla’s HPI also projected that the UK property market is set to reach one million sales, with 500,000 expected to complete in the first half of 2023.
In a world of uncertainty, owning a home provides a sense of stability and security. As the property market continues to recover, it is essential that steps are taken to ensure that everyone has access to safe and affordable housing, regardless of their financial situation. Owning a home is not just an investment in property, but an investment in a better quality of life.
Relocating and moving – whether a buyer or a tenant
Next steps once you have either sold or bought your property, or are a tenant about to move, is to book your preferred removals company! The earlier you book, the more assured you are of having the date you would most like.
Make use of Shires Removal’s full moving service from A to Z. We aim to ensure your move is as stress-free as possible, and we can take on a whole lot more of the load than just on moving day. Let us pack for you, and if you’re moving abroad, we take the lead with all the relocation paperwork you need.
What are the key things you look for from a removals company when moving?
- Reliability: One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a removals company is their reliability. You want a company that will show up on time and handle your belongings with care.
- Experience: It’s always a good idea to choose a removals company that has been in business for a while and has a proven track record of successful moves. An experienced company will have the expertise and resources necessary to handle any challenges that may arise during the move.
Shires has been moving people for nearly fifty years, and we are a trusted family business.
- Insurance: Make sure that the removals company you choose is fully insured. This will provide you with peace of mind and protect your belongings in case of any accidents or damages during the move. Our service to you is fully insured, and quality assured.
- Price: Moving can be expensive, so it’s important to choose a removals company that offers competitive pricing. However, it’s important to remember that the cheapest option may not always be the best choice.
- Customer service: Look for a removals company that has good customer service and is responsive to your needs. A company that is easy to communicate with and addresses your concerns promptly can help make the moving process less stressful.
- Reviews and recommendations: Check online reviews and ask for recommendations from friends and family to get a better understanding of the removals company’s reputation and the experiences of other customers.
A review from one of our happy and satisfied customers:
“I wanted to let you know that the lads we had on the move are an absolute credit to your company.
From start to finish they couldn’t have been more helpful. They were extremely polite, very courteous and I have to say, a proper laugh. Nothing was too much effort for them and they took the stress out of what is a very stressful experience.
We’d just celebrated our son’s 4th birthday and he had a helium number 4 balloon and the lads asked him if they could take it in their cab so it was safe and he was made up.
They also let my son and daughter sit in the cab of the big truck and they showed them all our possessions in the back and both of the kids could relate to what was happening.
It’s was a pleasure using Shires.
If you could pass on our regards to your A Team that would be great. I’m in sales myself and I pride myself on customer service and being a brand ambassador and the lads were exactly the same, absolutely top class, I couldn’t pick a fault if I tried.
Have a great rest of week, it was great working with you all.”
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Our head office is located in Kinsley, near Pontefract and Wakefield, West Yorkshire, UK but we cater for moves all over the country whether you are moving a few miles or a few hundred miles. Our representatives can visit you at your home to discuss your moving requirements, with no charge and with no obligation to use us.
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