According to the latest housing market data, UK house prices have continued their post-lockdown recovery, with August witnessing the highest monthly rise (2%) in more than 16 years. House prices have now reversed the losses recorded in May and June and are at a new all-time high.
Industry experts believe the bounce-back in prices has been matched by the surprisingly rapid recovery in housing market activity since the easing of lockdown restrictions, however, with so much uncertainty over the job market and with the UK economy in recession, whether this buoyant sentiment will continue is uncertain.
The Nationwide’s chief economist, Robert Gardner suggests that “Pent-up demand is coming through, where decisions taken to move before lockdown are progressing. Behavioural shifts may also be boosting activity, as people reassess their housing needs and preferences as a result of life in lockdown. Our own research, conducted in May, indicated that around 15% of people surveyed were considering moving as a result of lockdown. These trends look set to continue in the near term, further boosted by the recently announced stamp duty holiday, which will serve to bring some activity forward.”
However, Gardner warned that most forecasters expect labour market conditions to weaken significantly in the quarters ahead as a result of the aftereffects of the pandemic and as government support schemes wind down.
On a local level, Steve Padgham, head of mortgages at The Financial Planning Group, underlines the high demand for property and has been working hard with clients to provide access to the low interest rate deals that are still available. He says, “Fixing a new five or ten-year fixed rate mortgage deal may be a very savvy move right now, with some economists forecasting a rockier road ahead, having confidence that your monthly outgoings are fixed for the longer term can offer real peace of mind.”
Why not give Steve a call on 020 8614 4782 or e-mail Steve.Padgham@fpgonline.co.uk and take advantage of some very competitive deals.