Housing market remained flat in July: MAB

Houses, house, property, monopolyThe housing market remained flat in July, according to the latest monthly report  from the Mortgage Advice Bureau.

Its data showed almost no change in the size of the average residential mortgage (for purchase or remortgage), the typical loan to value, nor the age of applicants. This includes the average age of first-time buyers.  

This report pointed out that while transaction levels, as reported by the HMRC, were slightly lower than a year ago, sales volumes had maintained momentum from June.

Mortgage Advice Bureau’s head of lending Brian Murphy says: “Our data points to a settled market, with key indicators in the first-time buyer, residential purchase and remortgage sectors all stable.

“The only slight upwards movement is on the numbers of those who chose a fixed mortgage product in July, which given the media sentiment around the potential of an increase in the interest rate from the Bank of England in August, was to be expected.”

However, this monthly report shows that the buy-to-let market continues to soften. According to the MAB data the average loan for a buy-to-let purchase was £129,285, a decline of 5.41 per cent year-on-year.

The average purchase price of buy-to-let property also declined by 4.81 per cent over the past 12 months, to give an average purchase price of £192,479 in July.

In contrast the average loan for a residential purchase was £175,233, unchanged on the month or the year.  The average loan for a remortgage was £177,802, unchanged month-on-month and up just 1.3 per cent year-on-year.

Murphy adds that while this data shows that the housing market has “continued to tick over nicely this summer” there is still considerable regional variance in house price growth.

This is reflected in data from both the Halifax and Nationwide which show house prices rising modestly over the month. 

Murphy  says: “There is a perceptible softening of London and the South East, which was still apparent in July. Other regions, such as Scotland, Wales, the North and Midlands continue to see growth in key conurbations, which as previously reported has been the market dynamic for the past few months.”

He adds that there are still motivated buyers and sellers in the market, although asking prices need to remain realistic to secure an offer and to avoid issues with any mortgage valuation.

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