Clear Cut Mortgages has revealed that people in England and Wales spent an average of £449m every day on new homes in 2003, with 2,890 houses changing hands daily.
This equates to a total of £164bn spent on 1,054,936 new homes. The company says it expects spending levels in 2004 to be broadly similar to those of last year. It believes spending on thebuy-to-let market will remain level, if not grow a little this year, despite signs that the market is cooling in the South.
First-time buyers are finding it harder to get onto the first rung of the housing ladder, but Clear Cut feels that the worst is over for buyers in this market and that levels of spend will remain the same taking the country as a whole. For those in the South-East and London, Clear Cut expects to see things flatten. However, first timers in the North will start to find things harder during the course of 2004 as prices are rising dramatically in this region.
Ben Thompson, director of Clear Cut Mortgages, says: “The total £164bn a year spent on homes in England and Wales equates to the gross domestic product of South Africa on an annual basis and matches the value of UK exports. It would buy all the companies in the FTSE100 by market capitalisation.
“The English and Welsh have got the housing bug and it remains our most expensive habit. The totals are likely to be much the same for 2004, and Clear Cut expects that consumers will continue their homebuying habits.
“Despite the recent interest rate rises, this year is set to be another bumper one in the housing market as the property obsession continues.”