View more on these topics

Reports clash over housing activity

Conflicting reports into the state of the housing market were published last week as Connells argued first time buyers activity was at a six-year high March while e.surv said borrower demand was in a sustained decline.

According to e.surv the number of loans approved for house purchase fell from 51,653 in February to 48,200 in March. The number of approvals on typical first-time buyers property – those valued under £125,000 – fell from 11,880 to 11,568 over the same period of time.

But Connells argues that March represents the seventh consecutive month of annual growth for first-time buyers. First time buyer activity in March was the strongest for six years, as 26 per cent monthly growth brought the number of first time buyers to the highest level since March 2007

E.surv chartered surveyors director Richard Sexton says: “The mortgage market is beginning to regress. It ended last year very strongly – with five consecutive months of increasing house purchase lending and more loans to first-time buyers – but lending has fallen during every month in 2013. One month could be a blip. Two months could be coincidence. But three consecutive months of falls in house purchase lending indicates the market has gone into reverse gear.”

Connells corporate services director John Bagshaw says: “Improvements are filtering through to more first timers too. Better competition at higher loan-to-value ratios is starting to make mortgages more affordable for first time buyers. The expectation that Bank rates will stay low for many years is also cementing low interest rates, but the biggest change is a calmer approach to the risk from smaller deposits.”

The most recent survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors on the state of the housing market found the percentage of surveyors in England and Wales reporting price rises in the three months ending March was the highest on record since June 2010.

 All Types of Mortgages managing director Dale Jannels says that individual surveyors are only going to have figures from whoever is instructing them.

And with the UK’s largest lender Lloyds Banking Group for example will only use its own inhouse surveyor Colleys, these types of figures will always be skewed..

He says: ”The numbers are obviously dependent on who you are dealing with so its a case of one firm only seeing one side and vice versa.”

 

Recommended

Nationwide-Building-480

Nationwide plans £500m bond to boost capital

 Britain’s biggest building society Nationwide is looking to raise up to £500m in order to boost its capital. The Sunday Times reports the mutual could launch the fundraising as early as this summer, depending on market conditions. The newspaper says although Nationwide is well-capitalised under current measures, it is exposed to new rules from the […]

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Pension freedom: wish you were here?

Out there lies a warm ocean of desert islands, sun, sand and palm trees, where individuals can choose how and when to tax-efficiently access their pension fund and realise the retirement dreams they have worked so hard for.

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up