The housing market held up remarkably well in 2019, despite all the economic and political uncertainty. Nationwide Building Society puts this resilience down to strong employment, low mortgage rates and a lack of supply, which all contributed to support prices.
First-time buyers were the big success story of the year, steadily growing in number, despite the significant gap between incomes and property prices. Lenders are doing their bit, offering higher loan-to-values at competitive rates and more innovative products which enable the Bank of Mum and Dad to offer assistance. Being able to afford a mortgage in London remains the biggest challenge, despite the softening of prices there, while outside of the capital it is the deposit which continues to be the biggest concern.
Looking forward to 2020, we expect to see much of the same on the mortgage front, with lenders remaining keen to lend. Mortgage supply is considerable and has outstripped demand over the past couple of years, which should lead to continued low rates, while we also expect some lenders to improve criteria. It’s a great time to be a borrower, less so a saver. We expect to see a ‘Boris Bounce’ over the coming weeks, as those clients who have been deferring decisions are now prepared to make them.
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