March has always marked the beginning of the spring increase in property values, but the Halifax and Nationwide Building Societies both reported a drop in house prices this month.
“There are fears of a double-dip recession in the housing market but LetAssured UK believe that February’s drop was fuelled by mortgage unavailability and the continuing cold weather which restricted activity,” said David Plaister, MD of LetAssured UK.
“The weather conditions in January and February undoubtedly had a bearing on activity,“ said Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. “Prices will go up over the next three to six months, and then they might stabilise. Interest rates may rise in the fourth quarter of this year. That could arrest the upward move in prices and begin to backtrack towards the end of 2010.”
LetAssured is still advising its clients that there are realistic property prices for the shrewd buy-to-let investor who researches his properties and agent correctly.
Current asking prices linked to sensible mortgage products, should stand investors in good stead and compensate for any future hikes in interest rates.