House prices make sprightly start to 2013

Nia Williams

February 18, 2013

The Index found that that age and equity will be the main market drivers in 2013 meaning ‘old hands’ are the most willing and able to move.

The report revealed that seven in ten (71%) of those who intend to sell in 2013 are over 45 and half of those planning to buy in 2013 (49%) will do so for at least the third time.

Miles Shipside, director and housing market analyst at Rightmove, said: “There has been a sprightly start to 2013 and, while market activity remains patchy across locations and property type, some agents are reporting their busiest new year since the onset of the credit-crunch.

“While encouraging, it’s far too early to pop the champagne corks as certain sectors will remain on ice until the return of wider-spread mortgage availability.

“However, our research suggests that with age comes experience and, more importantly, equity and it is these old hands that seem most confident to plan a move this year.”

The index also revealed that whilst all regions have recorded a rise in house prices this month, some of the more dramatic increases reported in the northern regions are effectively ‘rebounds’ from substantial falls measured on the low levels of new listings in November and December.

Shipside said: “While the journey between expressing interest and closing the deal has many more twists and turns than before the credit-crunch, it is a sign of increased confidence and helps build a momentum that has been sadly lacking in many local markets over the last five years.”

Nick Hopkinson, director of property company PPR Estates, responded to the findings with an air of caution.

He said: “Despite the annual New Year optimism bounce that exuberant estate agents and sellers use to push up asking prices and seek to kick-start the market, average asking prices are still below those in February 2008.

“Also the average agent has only 68 properties on the books for sale; this is the lowest number in even the last year and is a better indicator of how little appetite there is amongst sellers and buyers to make big financial commitments at the moment.”

And Ben Thompson, managing director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “It is pleasing to see that the latest Rightmove monthly house price index has shown an increase in house prices. Despite this all indicators are that the housing market is set to remain broadly flat in the short-term.”

Thompson said that data from a Legal & General research report, The New Normal in the Housing Market, predicts things will stay this way until mid-2013 after which house prices should start to climb reaching their 2007 peak of £227,000 by 2015.

He said: “Our data also suggests that homeowners can expect an average growth of 4.1% per year between 2017 and 2027, compared to 11.4% house price growth per year in the decade before the crash (1997 to 2007).

“In nominal terms the value of the average house in the UK is expected to increase by £12,000 per year between 2017 and 2027. Although we will see growth in house prices between 2010 and 2019 it will ultimately be at the lowest rate since the 1950s.”

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