Feb 2014 House Price Watch Report

This month's House Price Watch indicates house prices up on average 0.4% in the past month and up 6.2% this year (Issue 11 - February 2014)

HPW Index Graph Jan 2014

‘New year, new home’ a popular new year’s resolution for 2014

  • Reports indicate property transactions are up significantly this year (up 30% compared to December last year according to HMRC).
  • A key reason for the rise in transactions is seen to be increased activity by first-time buyers (triggered by an easing of availability of higher loan to value mortgages). According to Oct 2013 CML data, the number of loans to first-time buyers are up 33% year on year.
  • First-time buyers are seen to help drive overall activity in the housing market: “One of the main reasons for the rise in transactions in 2013 is the increased activity by first-time buyers….The freeing-up of housing chains, alongside mortgage rates at record lows, has seen an increase in activity by home movers.” LSL Property Services
  • Buyer numbers are expected to grow in the first quarter of 2014 with continued news of improving market conditions and low mortgage rates expected to hold in the near term.
  • The supply of homes has contracted over the last five consecutive months according to Hometrack but early signs in the new year point to growing seller sentiment:
    • Halifax Housing Market Confidence Tracker: 51% feel it is a good time to sell.
    • HomeOwners Alliance ‘step-by-step guide to selling’ page views doubled in January compared to previous peak levels indicating an interest in selling.
    • Rightmove report in the first two weeks of 2014 the number of pages of property viewed on their site rose by nearly 20% compared to a year ago, home-mover enquiries are at record levels (1.75 million) and there are early signs of an increase in property coming on the market (up 6% year on year).

HPW All Indices Graph Jan 2014

Regional Summary – London highest monthly and annual rise in house prices; East Anglia greatest annual rise in transactions

London’s house prices up 1.6% on average in the past month and 11.2% this year – the average house price exceeds £475,000. Most areas had a rise in property prices in the past month with the exception of the West Midlands and Yorkshire & Humberside.

While London is the region with the highest rise in house prices, East Anglia and the North West have had a greater rise in the level of property transactions year on year.

Property transactions

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