Property News

Keep upto date with property news across the wirral, northwest and the UK in General. Market Trends, House Prices and the Rental Market.

House prices rise 1.9% but property market remains 'subdued'

Annual house price growth edged up to 1.9 per cent in November to £214,044 but the market remains “subdued” thanks to an uncertain future for the economy, according to Nationwide.

The building society’s index registered a 0.3 per cent monthly increase in selling prices during November after zero growth in October.

Squeezed household budgets are likely to continue to dampen demand, despite low borrowing costs and the official unemployment rate at a 40-year low, Nationwide predicted.

“If the uncertainty lifts in the months ahead and employment continues to rise, there is scope for activity to pick up through next year,” said Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist.

“The squeeze on household incomes is already moderating and policymakers have signalled that, if the economy performs as they expect, interest rates are only expected to rise at a modest pace and to a limited extent in the years ahead.”

An increased supply of new homes has eased the pressure that helped prices soar over the past decade.

The number of houses being built fell nearly 60 per cent after the financial crisis but is now back up to 195,300, just 3 per cent below 2007/8 levels. Read More

House Prices demand

Foxtons warns London housing market in 'prolonged downturn'

London-focused estate agent Foxtons has swung to a loss and says the housing market in the capital is in a "prolonged downturn".

The company reported a loss of £17.2m for last year, partly due to the costs of closing six offices. It made a profit of £6.5m in 2017.

Foxtons added that Brexit uncertainty was "impacting consumer confidence".


Separately, the Nationwide said the UK market remained "subdued", with prices up 0.4% in February from a year ago.

'Further deterioration'

Foxtons said annual revenues fell 5% to £111.5m, with the weakness in property sales being offset slightly by a "resilient lettings performance".

The estate agent was pushed into the red by one-off charges of £15.7m, which included the costs of closing six offices: Beckenham, Enfield, Loughton, Ruislip, Park Lane and Barnes.

Foxtons said it was able to cover 85% of London from 61 branches and had no current plans for further closures.

"Our performance in 2018 was impacted by a further deterioration in the sales market, with transaction levels falling for another year from their already low levels," said chief executive Nic Budden.

However, the company said that in the long term, London remained "a highly attractive property market".

Weaker sentiment

The Nationwide said that house prices in February dipped 0.1% from the month before, with the average property now costing £211,304.

The Nationwide's chief economist, Robert Gardner, said: "Indicators of housing market activity, such as the number of property transactions and the number of mortgages approved for house purchase, have remained broadly stable in recent months, but survey data suggests that sentiment has softened.

"Measures of consumer confidence weakened around the turn of the year and surveyors reported a further fall in new buyer enquiries over the same period.

"While the number of properties coming onto the market also slowed, this doesn't appear to have been enough to prevent a modest shift in the balance of demand and supply read more

Home Owners fear Brexit Price Fall

A survey of home owners in Scotland suggests half of them believe Brexit will lead to a fall in the value of their property.

Aberdein Considine's Property Monitor found just 3% think prices will rise.

The research indicated 2018 had been a year of growth for the Scottish property market.

Total sales were in excess of £18bn - up £400m on the previous year and the best spell of growth since the 2008 crash.

Aberdein Considine managing partner Jacqueline Law said: "These figures demonstrate that the market has to a large degree recovered from the difficult days of the financial crash but we cannot ignore the uncertainty which Brexit presents.

"Whatever the outcome, families and individuals still need homes to live in and properties will continue to be bought, sold and rented.

"Homeowners and businesses could definitely benefit from a clearer understanding about what the months and years ahead have in store, and hopefully the next few weeks will bring some much needed clarity."

The survey suggested Edinburgh remains the most expensive area in Scotland, with the price of the average home there up by 9.3% over the year to £272,989.

For Scotland as a whole, the average property costs £174,290, after an annual rise of 3.3%. Read More

Housing market outlook worst 'for 20 years' - BBC NEWS

The housing market outlook over the next three months is the worst for 20 years, surveyors say.

A net balance of 28% of Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) members expect sales to fall in the next three months.

It's the most downbeat reading since records started in October 1998 and the pessimism is blamed on the lack of clarity around Brexit.

Lack of supply and affordability also continued to affect the market.

Sales expectations for the next three months are now either flat, with no change predicted, or negative, indicating falling sales, across all parts of the UK, the report said.

Increasing numbers of surveyors reported seeing house prices fall rather than increase in December, with a net balance of 19% seeing falls rather than rises.

That was up from a balance of 11% in November and marked the fourth month in a row of negative house price readings.

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New buyer inquiries fell for the fifth month in a row in December.

The drop-off in interest from buyers was matched by a decline in fresh properties coming on to the market.

Read More

House prices stagnate amid Brexit uncertainty

ouse price growth remained relatively flat in the year to November, according to official figures, with prices rising 2.8pc compared to 2.7pc in the year to October, taking the average UK property price to £230,630.

The annual growth rate has slowed since 2016, driven mainly by a slowdown in London and the South East, but house prices were still £7,000 higher in November than the previous year. On a monthly basis, taking seasonal factors into account, prices rose 0.1pc between October and November.

house prices stagnate

According to the latest Land Registry and Office for National Statistics data, Northern Ireland, Wales and the West Midlands spearheaded growth with property price increases in the year to November of 4.8pc, 5.5pc and 4.6pc, respectively, while London prices slumped 0.7pc over the same period. Prices in the capital have fallen every month since July 2018.

Lucy Pendleton, founder of estate agent James Pendleton, said the North, Midlands, Scotland and Wales were the "engines pulling us along while London rides on its axle".

"It’s clear that in the South and South East, lack of supply is being overcome to a larger degree by affordability. There is no real recovery in sight for the capital over the next three months," she said.

The Bank of England's agents' summary of business conditions, which surveyed firms between mid-October and late November, said that along with a low supply of houses, demand was also falling.  

Agents said there had been an increase in the number of purchases falling through due to Brexit uncertainty among potential buyers. More viewings were required before a sale could be achieved, and buyers were taking longer to reach a decision to purchase. Read More

House price growth falls to five-year low

UK house price growth has slowed to a five-year low, according to the latest research from Nationwide.

The annual rate at which property prices are rising eased to 2% in June, the lowest level since June 2013.

The slowdown came despite the average cost of a UK home climbing by 0.5% during the month - more than offsetting May’s 0.2% fall - to stand at £215,444.

In London, house prices fell for the fifth consecutive quarter, with values down 1.9% year-on-year between April and June.

But other regions fared better, with annual growth of 4.4% in the East Midlands in the last three months.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “There are few signs of an imminent change. Surveyors continue to report subdued levels of new buyer enquiries, while the supply of properties on the market remains more of a trickle than a torrent.”


Why is this happening?

Annual house price inflation has been stuck in a narrow range of 2% to 3% for the past 12 months.

On the one hand, subdued economic activity and ongoing pressure on household budgets is continuing to act as a drag on housing market activity.

But at the same time, high levels of employment, low interest rates and a shortage of homes for sale are all supporting property values.

Unless confidence among potential buyers returns or more properties are put on the market, the current subdued level of transactions is likely to continue.


House prices are on the slide – where will they go now?

As Halifax figures show the market fell in April, experts say what’s really going on

We are slap bang in the middle of the spring househunting season, but this week’s news that the average price of a UK home dropped by more than £7,000 in April will have left many wondering: is this the start of a prolonged period of falling property values? If so, should would-be buyers hold fire on the basis that they could pay less in a few months’ time? Or do falling prices mean now is actually a good time to buy?

According to the Halifax, UK house prices fell by 3.1% last month, which means a typical property ended April being worth £220,900. The equivalent figure at the end of March was £228,100. The average price is now back to what it was a year ago: £220,400 in April 2017.

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Meanwhile, recent Land Registry data confirms that parts of London and other areas have seen some big price falls this year. For example, the official average cost of a home in Islington in north London was £672,300 last August, but by January it had slipped back to £656,800, and then in February it tumbled by £30,000 to £626,700 – a fall of nearly 7% in just six months.

We asked a range of property market watchers what’s really going on, and whether it’s bad news – or actually good news for young people who have so far been unable to buy.

Read more here : Source Telegraph

Council wants to make it easier to buy homes that blight neighbours' lives


Liverpool council wants more powers to buy empty homes and land which are blighting neighbours' lives - as it was revealed the number of houses sitting vacant has gone up again.

Official figures reveal the number of homes sitting vacant for six months or more has risen for the third year in a row in Liverpool. There are 

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Council officials say homes and land left empty for a long time can cause problems for neighbours - ranging from littering to damage to nearby properties.

They say it can be hard or impossible to track down the owners of those properties, meaning problems can linger while the council has to pay repair costs that may never be recovered.

Read more here


UK housing stock hits record low as buyer demand wanes

The average number of properties on estate agents' books has hit a record low and is "unlikely to improve", according to a survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).

While a typical estate agent has 42 homes on their books per branch, in London – where the nation's chronic housing shortage is most concentrated – the figure is just 33.

Rics's monthly residential market survey, which gathers the views of more than 300 chartered surveyors across the country, also found that there was a prevailing trend in the lack of new buyer enquiries, new instructions and newly agreed sales.

New buyer enquiries fell for the eleventh consecutive month, with 16pc more survey respondents seeing a fall rather than rise in new customers, while the number of agreed sales was also down, continuing a six-month trend.  

Buyer demand has fallen most dramatically in London and the south east, Rics said, while it has risen in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Yorkshire and the Humber. Figures in most other regions remained broadly flat.

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As market activity continues to slow, prices remained flat in February for the ninth month in a row Read More Here

Spring selling season stalls, as the housing market starts to feel the chill

What hope is there for buyers and sellers in the flattest period in the last five years?

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It was an announcement homebuyers and sellers barely needed to be told – Britain’s property market is going through its flattest period in the last five years. A report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) found that demand from buyers, and new instructions from sellers, were down again, the lowest figures since 2013.

The survey paints a picture of the UK market as one affected by the poor weather earlier this year, fears over the effects of the Brexit negotiations, and even bitter infighting among estate agents to get properties on their books.

This week marks the start of what is traditionally the spring house-selling season, but that prospect appears remote this year.

So what hopes are there for buyers and sellers trying to move home, and young people attempting to get on the ladder?

The Rics survey balances surveyors who have seen price rises, versus those that have seen falls.

The latest survey, released last week, found that the housing market in the south-east and London is particularly weak, while the rest of the country was somewhat better.

And there does not appear much hope of change. “Forward-looking metrics suggest little prospect of the tide turning to any meaningful extent over the near term,” it read.

A more plainly-worded assessment is provided by those surveyed by Rics.

“The shortage of instructions has resulted in an epidemic of certain agents persistently trying to poach properties already on the market with other agents. “This is further besmirching the general estate agency business,” said one surveyor in Doncaster.

Read more here : Source Telegraph