Anna Clare Harper: Investors’ biggest fear is prices reaching peak

Jake Carter

April 21, 2021

The biggest fear among investors at the moment is that house prices are reaching a peak, egged on by the temporary stamp duty reduction, according to Anna Clare Harper, chief executive of SPI Capital.

A resulting consequence of a peak in prices will be that investors’ yields stop.

The seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions in March 2021 was 190,980, 102.3% higher than March 2020, according to the latest HMRC Property Transaction data.

Harper said: “HMRC’s transactions data is important because transactions drive prices, for homeowners and investors alike.

“Residential transactions in March 2021 were double the March 2020 figure.

“This was the highest number of transactions for March over the previous 10 years.”

Despite this, Harper does not believe transactions should be looked at as broadly.

She added: “The truth is more subtle than this.

“Different types of property and locations are experiencing different growth trends.

“There are still many locations and types of buildings which offer value to investors and potential homebuyers, where transactions are far less frenetic.”

Harper also believes that reduced stamp duty has not been the only driver of house price growth over the last year.

She points to low interest rates, the release of pent-up supply and demand and desire to improve surroundings among existing homeowners; and the ‘flight to safety’, since in times of uncertainty, people want to put their money in a stable asset with low volatility.

She said: “These trends are likely to hold up throughout this year.”

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