Housing market largely flat in August: MAB

Data from the Mortgage Advice Bureau’s National Mortgage Index show that the housing market had a “consistent” August.

In terms of residential purchases, the average loan fell 1.6 per cent, from £175,233 in July to £172,365.

The average purchase price also fell – and to a similar degree – 1.4 per cent, dropping from £250,462 in July to £246,841 a month later.

In the remortgage market, the average loan was flat at £176,759 as compared to £177,802 a month earlier, as were average remortgage property values: £313220 in August against £313,769 in July.

First-time buyers witnessed a fall in the average purchase price, from £212,558 in July to £210,216 – a drop of 1.10 per cent, and the average FTB loan fell by 1.58 per cent, which equates to a drop from £156,647 to £154,157.

The buy-to-let market, meanwhile saw no change in activity in the average purchase loan, at £130,937 in August against £129,285, but the average BTL purchase price went up 1.46 per cent, from £192,479 to £195,343.

MAB head of lending Brian Murphy says: “Although last month was peak holiday season, it seems that many buyers and sellers who were transacting were still very focused on taking advantage of the current borrowing climate. Therefore, despite the current economic and political headwinds, it’s very much been ‘business as usual’ with a steady and forward-moving momentum.”

The report also details how the average purchase loan differs on a regional basis.

In the North West, for example, the annual change in the average purchase loan has shot up from £126,996 to £146,151 – 15.1 per cent, and in Greater London, from £339,712 to £316,022 – a fall of 7 per cent. These two areas represent the biggest gains and losses, respectively.

Murphy comments: “Activity in the purchase market continued to remain steady at a headline level in August; although in terms of prices, as in previous months this somewhat masks the ‘two tier’ market where London and the South East activity and pricing remained subdued, whilst the East and West Midlands, North West, Scotland and Wales all saw average property values increase on average, as well as healthy transaction levels, due to ongoing consumer confidence.”

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