“Since the start of the decade, the average March price rise has been 0.9%, so this month’s 1.3% uplift is an indicator of a shortage of suitable property for sale in many parts of the country, with strong demand for the right property at the right price. Since 2007 we’ve only once seen a larger rise than this in March, and we are also keeping pace with last year’s rise, which had the added momentum of investors looking to beat the Stamp Duty tax deadline of April 1st..
While six consecutive years of price rises have been a gravy train for many home-owners, some of them are running into the buffers of affordability when they come to trade up. Meanwhile many would-be first-time buyers are being left waiting on the platform struggling to even get on board. Modest average wage rises and tighter lending criteria have limited buyers’ ability to pay more. While credit is cheap, if there are limits on its availability then the pace of rise has to slow even though demand for housing is high. Many buyers are being forced to be price-sensitive, so sellers have to be wary of over-pricing if they want to sell.
The price-rise crown has shifted from its previous strongholds. The pace is no longer being set by the more affluent commuter-belt south, including London with its international appeal. Neither is it set by the cheaper north driven by a mass of investors swooping on high buy-to-let yields. As markets in other areas of the country become more mature and run out of price-rise steam and froth, the fundamentals of the Midlands have come to the fore. Accessibly and conveniently located in the middle of the country, the area offers mid-range and relatively affordable prices at an average of around £200,000, whilst also exhibiting local economic breadth and strength. As other parts of the country suffer from varied factors such as highly-stretched affordability, changes in sentiment and increased economic uncertainty, it is the Mighty Midlands that is the current powerhouse of price rises.”
How have house prices changed over the last month? Explore our latest #hpi: https://t.co/J4cbxZYwuu pic.twitter.com/bvXrC8xK9u— Rightmove (@rightmove) March 20, 2017
House price growth in England and Wales has halved as homes become less affordable https://t.co/c20As6it2I— ES Homes & Property (@HomesProperty) March 23, 2017