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Comment: Housing market is riding the wave

Bob Young Fleet 2014Ignore what the results may say – it’s taking challenges in its stride

The recent raft of house price indices appears to be the usual mixed bag, with different methodologies and data sets delivering different results. However, many of the comments suggest the UK market is on something of an inevitable downward spiral.

The truth of the matter is actually quite different. As both former Rics residential chairman Jeremy Leaf and Mortgage Advice Bureau head of lending Brian Murphy recently discussed in this very publication, the market is performing as anticipated this year, and is taking the very real political, economic and regulatory challenges in its stride.

Sustainable circumstances
Indeed, when the gross lending figures and transaction levels are totted up at the end of the year, I suspect there will be a slight increase on 2017, delivering what we have been looking for over the past 30 years: a sustainable market without wild fluctuations.

Of course, there are many things contributing to this – historically low interest rates, low unemployment, relatively stable inflation and so on.

In the housing market specifically we have an increase in supply, a price point where purchasers cannot afford to go any higher and an overall
more realistic marketplace than we have had for some time.

This will not stop those intent on holding a far more negative view, though.

Lenders certainly seem to be showing continued appetite, not just in the residential space but also in buy-to-let. Again, there are those who will attempt to bury the sector, but it remains a vital part of the UK’s housing fix. For those that can see the long-term benefits and are willing to wait for them, you would be hard pressed to find a better investment.

So, the true picture at present is rather more positive than some may have you believe.

It is our jobs to ensure we present that picture to borrowers.

Bob Young is chief executive of Fleet Mortgages

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