UK Housing Market Slows

October 15, 2014

After an extended period of strong expansion, growth in the UK’s housing market is showing signs of moderating. According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the number of agreed house sales dropped for the first time in almost two years during August; meanwhile, sales are taking longer to complete and enquiries from new buyers have slackened over recent months Mortgage lender Halifax calculated that UK house prices rose at an annualised rate of 9.7% during August to reach an average of £186,270.

However, quarterly and annualised increases were lower in August than in July, lending additional substance to the suggestion house price growth might be moderating. The Mortgage Market Review, which came into force in April 2014, has been cited as a reason for the slowdown. Although low mortgage rates have provided support for the housing market, this has been constrained to some degree by sluggish wage growth that has been significantly outstripped by surging property values. Meanwhile, mounting expectations of the first rise in interest rates since July 2007 have dampened the enthusiasm of potential buyers amid renewed concerns about the affordability of housing.

Halifax calculates the number of enquiries from prospective buyers fell during July, registering their first drop for 18 months. Nevertheless, demand for property continues to be broadly underpinned by an increasingly firm economic recovery, rising consumer confidence and a strengthening labour market. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors believes activity in London’s housing market is becoming less feverish and more sustainable, which should help to improve the balance between demand and supply, and should also take the edge off price rises. Elsewhere, Halifax has identified “tentative” signs the supply of property is improving, which should also provide some relief for the pace of growth in house prices. However, Nationwide believes that supply in the housing market will remain “constrained”, which should help to shore up property values. Gross mortgage lending fell by 5% during August compared with July, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, although lending rose at an annualised rate of 13%.

Looking ahead, mortgage lender Nationwide has warned that the outlook for the UK’s housing market remains “highly uncertain” while, for its part, the Council of Mortgage Lenders expects a “gentle” slowdown, exacerbated by the continuing impact of tighter lending rules and a softening of the London market.

Steve Martin is a partner and head of conveyancing at Watsons Solicitors.

Contacting Watsons Solicitors
If you are interested or require more information on any of our services, then please get in touch via the contact form or by contacting us direct on: 01925 571212.

The contents of this article should not be construed as advice and do not necessarily reflect our views. Advice should always be attained in order to assess your own individual circumstances.

Contact Us

If you are interested or require any information on any of our services then please get in touch for an appointment on:

 01925 571 212
Mon-Fri: 9am - 5pm

Latest News

Employment law specialist urges caution as employees return to the workplace

A Cheshire employment solicitor is warning employers to be mindful of potential costly mistakes as lockdown measures ease.   Under updated guidelines, those unable to work from home are allowed back into the workplace, with businesses issued with government guidance on keeping them as safe as possible.   There are concerns across England about the […]

Wills and Probate advice during COVID-19

A Cheshire-based wills and probate firm of solicitors has provided advice and guidance for people updating or preparing new Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney during COVID-19. Watsons Solicitors, based on Bold Street in Warrington, is adhering to government guidelines and has introduced telephone and video conferencing as an alternative to face-to-face meetings.

Remote working not impacting injunctions in domestic abuse cases 

A Cheshire-based family law solicitor is reassuring victims of domestic abuse that they will still receive quick and effective action through the courts during the coronavirus pandemic. Current government guidelines require people to work from home where possible, including solicitors and judges, with court proceedings taking place via video conference calls. The National Domestic Abuse […]

COVID-19 and Watsons Solicitors response

In line with the current guidance of the government, we are taking the responsibility of the health and wellbeing of our clients and staff seriously.   We have therefore put in place our contingency plan for remote working. This involves all of our staff working remotely and the closure of our Bold Street premises.

Watsons Solicitors
Children Law Accredited
Conveyancing Quality
Criminal Litigation
Family Law Advanced
Personal Injury

Watsons Solicitors is a trading name of Watsons Solicitors Warrington LLP a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales registered number OC386012 whose registered office is 13 Bold Street, Warrington, WA1 1DJ.

Watsons Solicitors Warrington LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority number 598547.

Watsons Solicitors
Warrington
Cheshire
WA1 1DJ

01925 444 323
Website managed by Outwrite PR, an online reputation management agency
envelope-oclock-ophonefax linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram