ONS: House prices up 4.9%

Mortgage Introducer

August 15, 2017

House prices rose by 4.9% in the year to June 2017 – up from 4.7% the month before, the ONS house price index has found.

The annual growth rate has been around 5% for much of 2017.

Nick Leeming, chairman at Jackson-Stops & Staff, said: “A double crutch of record low mortgage rates and a lack of homes for sale continue to keep house price growth strong, with the East of England’s 14 month streak as top region for house price growth unbroken.

“Whilst this is good news for many homeowners seeing the equity in their home increase, it does place the goal of home ownership further out of reach for aspiring first-time buyers.

“Meanwhile other recent data shows transaction levels and new buyer enquiries performing sluggishly, which could have escalating consequences for people wanting to move relatively quickly, whether to cater for their growing family, a new job or a lifestyle change.”

Ishaan Malhi, chief executive of ‘online mortgage broker’ Trussle, said: “Homeowners worried about the prospect of slipping into negative equity will be happy to see a second consecutive month of house price growth.

“Hopeful first-time buyers looking to get onto the property ladder will naturally be less enthusiastic.

“Despite interest rates remaining at rock bottom, younger buyers still face the gruelling prospect of having to raise a deposit of around £30,000 which is higher than the average UK salary.”

In other news UK consumer price inflation held steady at 2.6% in July.

John Goodall, chief executive of Landbay, said: “Against expectations inflation has held steady today, stealing the limelight from housing figures, which suggest that house price growth has now returned.

“Supply and demand remain severely out of kilter, meaning that housing affordability remains one of the most pressing issues facing UK society over the medium to long term.

“The roots of the affordability crisis can be traced back to insufficient construction over the past decade, but a number of other macroeconomic factors are now also playing a part.

“Wage growth is struggling to keep pace with rocketing inflation, which is hitting people’s pockets and making it harder for aspiring homeowners to afford their first property, as well as discouraging existing homeowners from moving.

“This is pushing more and more people toward the private rental sector to house them while they save, so construction needs to focus not only on more affordable homes for first time buyers, but for the rental sector as well.”

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