House prices are still rising by a decade but some real estate agents say hints of a slowdown are already there.
Look at the numbers and property inflation is rampant: This week, Nationwide said home prices rose 11 percent in the year to July.
This is even higher than the consumer price inflation behind the cost of living crisis, which had the latest reading from the Office for National Statistics at 9.4 percent for June.
But while it may seem surprising that house prices are still rising in the face of the dramatic escalation in mortgage costs – as interest rates are being raised to combat inflation targeting – there is talk that the market has already lost its head.
Rocket Man: Home prices have soared in the midst of the pandemic boom, hitting new highs after new highs, but some say the market is coming out of a boil
Along with the Nationwide numbers, some comments came from real estate agents saying the market has softened.
There was no doom and gloom, of course, just talk of a nice decompression, but keep in mind that this is a reasonably downside look from this traditional up-and-coming career.
These opinions are just quick snapshots of opinions on what’s going on, but it’s worth keeping an eye on in a market where changes in trend are much more difficult to measure than in a place that is easier to track, like the stock market.
And when it comes to the real estate market, it’s not just the great home price report numbers you have to look at, it’s also worth keeping an eye on what’s going on near you or where you want to buy.
This will provide a clue as to what is most important to you: whether that be a passive interest in whether the value of your home has gone up or down, or an active interest in whether you can buy or move into a home.
While home price index reports make headlines, they don’t provide the best indication of what’s going on.
The average UK house they track is a construction rather than a representation of something that actually exists: the average property near me is different from the property near you.
Meanwhile, the UK property market in general is made up of a lot of different individual pockets that don’t always move together.
In a broad sense, this can be spoken of as the north-south division, London vs. the rest, the commuter belt vs. the regions, or in many other ways.
But in a narrower sense, you can make markets behave differently in two places close together. For example, the towns where I live in Hertfordshire don’t often take the same route as neighboring Luton.
Looking at where you live won’t give you the full picture of what’s happening in the property market across the UK, but it will give you a good idea of what’s going on where you’re interested.
Depending on how interested you are — and I’ll admit I’m a real estate geek here — you can keep an eye on asking prices, places that are selling, and how much or less is coming to the market.
But there’s another piece of advice I’d like to offer: If you really want to gauge the temperature of your local real estate market, see what isn’t selling.
Watching what sells and what doesn’t is the best guide to ownership sentiment and where the trend may be heading
That’s something armchair real estate storytellers can do, but house price indices can’t, because they’re based on sale prices, asking prices, mortgage completion numbers and so on.
However, watching what sells and what doesn’t is the best guide to ownership sentiment and where the trend may be headed.
When you think “that’s an insane price” and things are still selling, the market is going by leaps and bounds.
When you see homes for sale for more than your last payment and think, “How much?” And they’re still selling, the market is doing pretty well.
But when you start to see only some of the best selling high priced stuff and after that shift towards what seems reasonably priced just for its attributes being on display, you can see the heat building.
When discounted labels start hitting Rightmove en masse, you know things are definitely on the slide.
And you can tell the market is in real trouble when homes start to look good and still aren’t selling.
On that note, from where I live watching near me, we moved from the first and second scenario above towards the third scenario.
The market is still in good shape, but it is paying off compared to the madness of the pandemic boom.
That’s to be expected: Mortgage rates have jumped since the start of the year, with the average five-year fix up from 1.55 per cent to 3.5 per cent, which could add hundreds of pounds to the monthly cost of buying the same home.
Ultimately this will have an impact and you can check how much it will cost you with the best mortgage rate comparison calculator.
A hint of a slowdown appeared in the Nationwide report as well, with the building community saying that while cash buyers remained strong, mortgage buyers have fallen further since the end of the stamp duty holiday.
I expect this trend to continue, as the rapid escalation of mortgage rates is hurting.
So, maybe it’s worth watching who isn’t buying as well as what isn’t selling.
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