£1m+ properties continue to thrive despite regional divide

Mortgage Introducer

June 25, 2018

Joe Arnold, managing director, Arnold & Baldwin

For your clients, their home is probably the most expensive purchase they will ever make – which is one of the reasons they have sought the advice of a professional mortgage adviser – and so it’s important to establish an accurate understanding of the property value early in the process.

With this in mind, knowledge is power. Staying in tune with the market can help you to spot where a property has been over-valued by an estate agent ahead of submitting an application.

This could help mitigate the impact of a down valuation and also serve to increase your conversion rates.

Each month we will be reviewing the latest market research and information to provide you with a concise report on the state of the property market, as well as picking out any interesting trends.

This month, the market continues in a position of stalemate, with positive wage growth and employment figures being offset by expectations of an imminent rate rise.

Similarly, low levels of housing stock mean that prices are stable despite the fact that new buyer enquiries fell for the 13th consecutive month, according to RICS.

As such, the overall picture is that Nationwide expects prices to rise by just 1% across the country, but within this overall figure, there are some interesting regional trends.

The most notable trend is the North/South divide. Rightmove says that strong buyer activity in the North has shrunk stock by just over 4% compared to a year ago and this is providing upwards pressure on house prices.

In the South, on the other hand, estate agent stock is up by more than 17%, which is putting downward pressure on prices.

The UK Residential Market Survey by RICS confirms this divide, pointing to large regional dimensions, with London showing the most negative trends and downward movement across the South East.

On a more granular level, Savills says the most widespread annual house price falls are in London, with Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham seeing the biggest annual drops, of around 5%.

But, while it’s the areas with high property values that are suffering most, the high-end property market continues to show resilience.

According to Rightmove, a record 16,119 sales were completed on properties costing more than £1m in 2017, which is a 5.4% increase on the previous high in 2016.

The top five fastest selling locations for properties costing more than £1m were all outside London, in Cambridge, Edinburgh, Harpenden, Bristol and Saint Albans.

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