UK property market | Property prices hit new highs but now slowing indicators

UK property market | Property prices hit new highs but now slowing indicators

The UK housing market appears to be starting to slow, although the latest figures show the average property price has risen to a new high of £250,200 (HK$2.483 million) for the first time.

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According to the Zoopla Property Price Index, property prices rose 8.4% year-on-year in April, down from 9% in March.

The estate agent said the soaring cost of living and the mounting financial pressure on property owners had started to slow down the pace of property price growth, which was expected to fall to 3 per cent by the end of the year.

The combination of higher property prices and higher interest rates means new mortgage repayments on UK homes have risen by £71 a month, equivalent to an increase of £852 a year since the start of the pandemic. This is undoubtedly a huge plus for consumers.

Data show that the release period has also been extended. In almost all types of dwellings, buyers and sellers needed most days to reach an agreement compared to the previous month.

Outside London, the average time from listing to sale for a three-bedroom unit increased from 16 days in March to 18 days in April. In London, the figure increased from 17 to 21 days.

Property market price reductions are also increasing across all types of homes, with 1 out of every 20 units (5.1%) listed this month being 50% off or more. This compares to just 1 in 22 houses (4.7%) in the first 28 days.

Analysed by area, 6.2 per cent of homes in the North East were more than 50% off their price in the four weeks to May 15, while in the West Midlands it was 4.5 per cent.

Zoopla also said Wales had the fastest rise in property prices in the country for the 15th month in a row, at 11.6 per cent. Conversely, London grew the slowest, at just 3.6%.

“High buyer demand means the market is moving quickly, but the opening period – the time between listing and signing – is starting to rise for most residential types in most regions,” said Gráinne Gilmore, director of research at Zoopla.

“We expect that this indicator will continue to rise for the rest of the year as buyer demand begins to decline as concerns about the cost of living and personal finances ignite.”

“We’re starting to see more and more listings on property sites at a discount, which could be an early sign of a slowing market,” said Vincent Dennington, director of John D Wood & Co.

“However, it may also indicate that the property was initially overpriced to attract the interest of potential buyers, and therefore the price needs to be adjusted to attract buyers and ultimately close the deal.”

“Despite the recent hike in mortgage rates, they are still cheaper than they were in 2015, and with demand for well-priced, family-oriented homes still strong across much of the UK, now is an opportune time for buyers to get the best price.”

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