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House Price Index

Rightmove today released their latest house price index showing yet another “record” movement in price growth where asking price is concerned. The value that homeowners are listing their property for increased on a monthly basis by 1.2%.

Brexit turmoil and election uncertainty also failed to deter sellers and buyers with year to date agreed sales up 2% and interestingly it was only the first-time buyer sector where asking prices have stalled both monthly and annually, down -0.8% and -0.5% respectively. Both second rung buyers and those at the top end of the ladder both saw positive movement in asking price growth.

House Price Index

The eMoov CEO and founder, Russell Quirk, was on hand to explain why.

Interesting that Rightmove should have observed no wobble in the market where asking prices are concerned, despite the industry indices based on sale completions stating otherwise.

This would suggest that UK buyers are still sitting tight despite a marginal cool in market demand and are yet to reduce their price expectations. Overall, the predominant air of confidence seen in the market over the last year from UK home sellers seems to be persisting and this, in turn, should see price growth stabilise.

The marginal decline in the average first-time buyer house price shows the toll an over inflated market has had on first rung buyers and sellers, although this is likely to be an influence from the rental sector.

Previously first-time buyers would get caught in a head to head price war with the aspiring and established buy to let landlords due to the similarity in the desired property stock between both. A battle they rarely won due to their inferior budget and property sale experience of those looking to invest for rental gain rather than as a first-time homeowner.

Although the buy to let market remains a lucrative one, the introduction of an additional 3% penalty on second homes and the reduction in tax relief in the buy to let market has deterred would-be landlords to some extent.

The additional budget they may previously have had to pip first-time buyers to the post is now consumed by the additional financial requirements, and so, the price wars that may have ensued and in turn inflated the average first-time buyer house price, are not as fierce or as frequent in the current market climate.

Russell Quirk

Founder & CEO, eMoov.co.uk