Housing affordability improves at fastest rate for eight years

Ryan Bembridge

February 18, 2019

house price growth august

Potential buyers have been given a boost – as housing affordability has improved at its fastest rate since 2011.

Average wage growth is currently running at 3.4%, while the annual rate of property price growth stands at just 0.2%.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “Longer daylight hours and green shoots appearing in gardens herald the start of the traditionally more buoyant spring market.

“Sellers’ subdued pricing is now being outstripped by higher average wage growth, meaning that buyer affordability is on the rise at the fastest rate in nearly eight years.

“Buyers are also being given the leg-up by cheap mortgage rates, if they can meet lenders’ criteria and lay their hands on a large enough deposit. In theory the scene would be set for an active spring if it were not for the uncertain political backdrop.

“As it is, the extent of that activity will depend on the degree of hesitancy among sellers to try to sell and be realistic on price, and buyers overcoming short-term uncertainty and taking a medium-term view that this is a good time to buy. As always those decisions will also be influenced by local market dynamics.”

Whilst developer Keshava Raghubeer of Sixteen South West added: “This is a brilliant statistic for the buyer, long may it continue.”

Prospective buyers in three of the four southern regions are seeing new seller asking prices cheaper than a year ago.

The number of home sales in January were down 4% year-on-year.

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