Annual House price growth remained below 1% for the sixth month in a row at 0.6% revealed by Nationwide. Property transactions and the number of mortgages approved for house purchases have remained steady. Robust labour market conditions and low interest rates is supporting the housing market. A major contributing factor is employment continues to rise at a steady rate and earnings growth is slowly increasing. According to Nationwide first-time buyers have continued their steady recovery in recent quarters, reaching 359,000 in the 12 months to March 2019. Bank of England data highlights mortgage approvals reached a three-month high of 66,261 in April. The North-South divide in house prices by region is still evident, however growth is the strongest in Yorkshire and Humberside rising by 3.6%.
“The average house price in the UK was £227,000 as of March 2019”.
As “uncertainty” weighs on the housing market if a deal with the EU is reached there could be a potential for a Brexit bounce. London remains the most expensive part of the country with an average price of £463,000. The drop-in prices for London properties may provide an opportunity for landlords seeking to make short term gains. ONS data suggests private rental prices paid by tenants in the UK rose 1.2% in the 12 months to April 2019. As buy-to-let popularity has receded due to government tax reforms this has led to a shortage of rental properties. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors expects over the next five years rents to increase by 3% per annum.
Smart Money has access to all Buy-to-let second charge loans on the market.