Peter Rollings commenting in response to the latest Halifax figures
Tue 06 Dec 2011
"Halifaxs latest figures point to a national housing market that is far from healthy. Growing concerns over the future of the economy and its impact on job prospects are reining in buyer activity outside of London, and it is only a combination of a shortage of stock and historically low mortgage rates that have prevented even greater price falls in the latter part of the year. But the ongoing stumbling block is that for credit-worthy buyers actually meeting all lenders strict criteria and securing a mortgage deal is a Herculean task in itself. This is stalling the sales process, hampering transactions further up the chain. However, there have been recent signs of a modest pick up in lending in the last month. If this trend is not a flash in the pan, and the new government lending scheme has a tangible impact for new buyers, then we wont see national house prices fall in the coming year despite the removal of the stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers.
"House prices havent rocketed up in the capital at the same rate as the first half of the year, but the market continues to outperform the rest of the country. This will remain the case as the Eurozone economy is buffeted, and UK and international buyers look to move their money into more reliable and lucrative long-term investments like Londons residential property. When you factor in the shortage of quality properties on the market at present in central London, further house price rises look on the cards in coming months."