There are some conflicting reports around at the moment, some suggesting prices are rising, while others are seeing them slow down.
Part of any slow-down is no doubt due to the holiday season, but also the end of the pent up demand resulting from the recession. Over the last 18 months, across the country, prices have either not risen at all, risen at 5-10% year on year, or as seen in London, some staggering increases of over 30%. However, forecasts moving forward suggest steady increases of 3-5% per year or even less.
The question now is ‘Is it better to have steady house price growth year on year for everyone’s sake or go back to the highs and lows we have seen since home ownership began’? All reports show a slowdown, bar a surprisingly upbeat headline from Home.co.uk.
It’s not unusual to see the market slow down towards Christmas time, and we know we are at the end of the pent up demand from the recession as well as MMR making it a more arduous process to secure the finances to buy. Regionally there is a bit of a mixed view on prices at the moment. Some reports, such as the RICS and Land Registry, are suggesting prices are still on the up in most places, whilst Acadata and Home.co.uk
are both suggesting prices aren’t just being held back in London, but some regions having seen increases this year, are now falling back. This is good news for buyers as it suggests the huge rises of 20-30% year on year we have seen over the last 18 months won’t be replicated regionally.
However, it also puts some sellers in a tricky situation if it means they struggle to climb out of negative equity.