House price growth stalled during June as potential buyers adopted a more cautious approach, figures showed today.
The average cost of a home in England and Wales was unchanged during the month at £172,011, according to the Land Registry.
The annual rate at which house prices are rising also slowed to 6.4 per cent during the month, down from 6.7 per cent in May.
The slowdown in growth comes as separate research showed a steep fall in confidence among potential buyers in the face of high house prices and future interest rate hikes.
A balance of just 5 per cent of people thought it was a good time to buy a home at the end of the second quarter, down from 34 per cent in the previous three months, according to Halifax.
The group said the fall in confidence was the largest recorded since it started collecting the data in 2011.
Around 55 per cent of potential buyers said raising a deposit was the biggest barrier preventing them from getting on to the housing ladder, while 35 per cent sited high house prices and 18 per cent admitted they were worried about future interest rate rises.
But while buyers are now cautious, there was an increase in confidence among potential sellers, with a balance of 25 per cent thinking it was a good time to put a property on the market – the highest level ever recorded by the index.
Both groups also remained optimistic about future property price growth, with a balance of 66 per cent predicting further price rises.
The Land Registry data showed that London continued to enjoy the highest house price growth of 16.4 per cent year-on-year, but this was down from 17.8 per cent in May.
Growth was also strong in the East and South East at 7.8 per cent and 7.9 per cent respectively.
But on a monthly basis, house prices fell in seven regions, with Yorkshire and the Humber seeing the biggest drop of 1.3 per cent, while prices fell by 1 per cent in both the East Midlands and North East.
Even in London, which has been the main driving force for the market, prices edged ahead by just 0.1 per cent during June.
Evidence that the housing market is beginning to slow down naturally will help to further ease concerns that a property price bubble had been building up, particularly in London.
Strong price growth had caught the attention of policymakers and led to the Bank of England introducing measures to help calm the market.
But recent data has suggested some of the heat has started to come out of the market as more people put homes up for sale, helping to ease the supply shortage.
At the same time, potential buyers have become more cautious in the face of high house prices and speculation about when interest rates will start to rise.
Peter Rollings, chief executive of Marsh & Parsons, said:“After a frenetic start to the year, the pace of house price growth has slowed this quarter as the market stabilises and returns to more normal trading conditions.
“With more choice coming onto the market, sellers are able to find their next onward purchase and consider trading up.”
Despite suggestions that the market is slowing, a total of 1,028 homes worth more than £1m changed hands during April, the latest month for which Land Registry transaction data is available, the equivalent of 34 a day.
Recent strong house price growth has left the average UK home costing £260,311, according to Zoopla.
At this time of year it’s really easy to forget about your home. The sunny weather upon us, holiday bags are packed, the damp and condensation has cleared up (temporarily) and leaks are not happening for now. Despite all this, now is the optimum time to address any issues ahead of the colder, wetter weather that will sadly be with us later this year.
So here are my top tips and some of the basics to maintaining your home:
- Keep the windows clean. This is a good way to make sure your wooden window frames (if you have wooden ones) don’t start to rot. If you’re buying then get the name of the vendor’s window cleaner, or you can find one through your local agent, online or displayed in the ads of the newsagent or local shop.
- Service the boiler. Major boiler repairs or replacing an ignored boiler can be costly, so get yours serviced annually. Most gas suppliers run service schemes where they come every year to check yours out.
- Install smoke alarms. These don’t cost a great deal and are priceless if they save a life.
- Check out areas of your home you don’t use on a daily basis. Is there any damp or mildew in the loft, basement or anywhere else? If so, get it sorted pronto before it turns into something nasty.
- Regularly walk around the outside of your house and check for leaks, stains on the walls, broken guttering or loose tiles. It’s wise to do this before winter sets in, as strong winds can dislodge tiles.
- Get up on a ladder. Make sure fallen leaves haven’t blocked the gutters, leading to water pouring down the outside walls and producing damp patches. While you’re up there, replace split tiles and keep a watchful eye on pointing (mortar that has been placed between bricks to hold them together) and paint the exterior to keep the damp out.
- Remove heavy moss from the roof, particularly in the spring and autumn.
- Inspect painted metalwork every couple of years and renew it when it is in danger of starting to crack and peel.
- Tackle frost damage and slippery algae growth on stone and brick steps and garden paths.
- Fix cracked pipes and drains. These cause damp problems and look unsightly hanging off your home, or next to it.
The cost of renting a home in the private sector edged ahead by just 1 per cent during the past year, Government figures showed today.
The increase means someone who was paying £500 a month in rent in June 2013, would now be paying £505, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Tenants in London saw the biggest increase during the 12 months, with their rents rising by 1.4 per cent.
At the other end of the scale, the cost of renting in the private sector rose by only 0.2 per cent in Wales during the same period, while in the North East and North West rents edged ahead by 0.3 per cent.
The pace at which rents rose in all regions of Great Britain was significantly below the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index, was stood at 1.9 per cent in June, meaning being a tenant is getting cheaper in real terms.
The low increase in the cost of renting a property is good news for potential first-time buyers saving for a deposit.
The small rise is also unlikely to bother many buy-to-let landlords, who are still benefitting from strong growth in property values and record low interest rates.
Recent research from lender BM Solutions showed that rental yields remained strong at an average of 6.2 per cent during the second quarter.
The highest yields were seen in the North West, North East, West Midlands and Wales, while the lowest were seen in Central London, where house prices are highest.
Around 35 per cent of landlords said they had increased their rents during the past year, with 26 per cent planning to hike them in the coming six months.
Meanwhile, financial information group Moneyfacts.co.uk said the number of different buy-to-let mortgages available had increased to a level not seen since 2008.
The group said landlords currently had a choice of 665 different products, 43 per cent more than were available in July last year.
The increased competition in the market has also driven the interest rates charged on the loans down to a record low.
The average cost of a fixed rate loan is now 4.17 per cent, while the typical rate charged on a variable mortgage is 4.03 per cent.
Sylvia Waycot, editor at Moneyfacts.co.uk, said:“Lender interest in the buy-to-let market may be fuelled by the knowledge that it falls outside of the recent Mortgage Market Review.
“This makes the process of granting any buy-to-let mortgage quicker and simpler as it is not subject to the new affordability criteria that is starting to clog up the mainstream mortgage market.”
Gwen’s home from the popular TV show Gavin and Stacey has gone on the market despite welcoming more than 13,000 fans through its front door.
The Barry property is famed for Gwen’s omelettes and feisty neighbour Doris, and is now one of the key stops on the Gavin and Stacey tour.
The agent’s Alex Easton said: “It also offers a potential business opportunity for someone wanting to continue the frequent tours but unlike the current owner, charge visitors.
“The two double bedroom house is deceptively spacious and includes a very pleasant, south facing courtyard with elevated views across the old docks and Barry Island.”
The property comes with an asking price of £125,000.
The current owners have decided to sell up and an open day is being held on August 2 between 10am and 1pm.
Homeowner Glenda Kenyon told the Daily Mirror: “Since the filming of Gavin and Stacey, I have welcomed over 13,000 visitors to the house including organised coach tours on a weekly basis.
“I will miss both the street and Barry, but having lived here for over 30 years, I feel it’s time for a change and plan to move to Swansea.”
All this hot weather is reminding us of our dream to move closer to the sea. This week we’ve picked our top 10 homes for sale with sea views.
1. The perfect place to dine al fresco.
Six bed, South Cornwall, £1.7m – Lillicrap Chilcott
2. Look at the colour of that water, we just want to dive in.
Seven bed, St Ives, West Cornwall, £1.5m – Lillicrap Chilcott
3. If you’re a fan of ultra modern you’ll love this beach front home.
Five bed, Littlehampton, £1.8m – Glyn Jones & Co
4. Living on the cliffs you probably couldn’t get a more breathtaking view.
Three bed, Cornwall, £1m – Stags
5. Plenty of room for entertaining the whole family with this superb decking area on the beach.
Four bed, East Sussex, £950,000 – John D Wood & Co.
6. Open plan living at its best, wow.
Four bed, Brighton, £2.2m – Winkworth
7. Who wouldn’t want to wake up to a sea view every morning?
Four bed, Gwynedd, £2.9m – Beresford Adams
8. A balcony, a pool and a sea view – heaven.
Seven bed, Bridgend, £1.5m – Watts & Morgan
9. You don’t have to win the lotto to get a sea view.
One bed, Plymouth, £84,950 – Cross Keys Estates
10. A little piece of heaven. What’s not to like?
Seven bed, Porthmadog, £1.1m – Jackson-Stops & Staff