18 March 2019

Press Coverage

House-price growth meant the average home in the UK cost £231,000 in December, a rise of £6,000 compared with a year earlier, according to data from the Office for National Statistics and the Land Registry. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘December’s figures confirm a slowdown in house price growth which is not really surprising given the time of year and ongoing Brexit shenanigans.’ BBC News, 13 February 2019

Mortgage rates remain close to historic lows, so homeowners might wish to protect themselves against potential interest rate rises by locking into a cheap deal. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘Lenders remain keen to lend, with rates extremely competitive. Not all lenders can compete to offer the lowest rate with some easing terms instead, which is making lending more accessible for certain groups, such as older borrowers or the self-employed. With Brexit uncertainty unlikely to lift anytime soon, interest rates don’t seem to be going anywhere either for the time being at least.’ The Daily Telegraph, 14 February 2019

Building societies are taking an increasing share of the housing market. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘Building societies tend to be more flexible and are more prepared to accept different risks to the large retail banks that are geared to vacuum up generic borrowers. An application rejected out of hand by a large lender because it doesn’t tick all the boxes may receive a more sympathetic response from a smaller mutual.’ The Times, 16 February 2019

First-time buyers are the driving force in the housing market, according to UK Finance. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘The huge gulf between incomes and property prices has been growing ever bigger in recent years, making it impossible for many would-be first-time buyers to bridge the gap. However, the slowdown in house prices, combined with higher wages, is making homeownership more of a realistic goal for those buying their first home.’ The Daily Telegraph, 19 February 2019

Research from Zoopla analysed the number of property millionaires in the top 50 towns and cities. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘If anyone was looking for proof of house price falls in London and the South East, these figures illustrate this with a decline in the number of property millionaires. However, it is premature to say that this is making properties in this part of the country more affordable as London still has by far the most property millionaires of any region in Britain.’ The Daily Mail, 21 February 2019

 UK house price growth is stagnating on the back of Brexit concerns, according to Nationwide building society. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘Uncertainty seems to be the main issue plaguing the housing market, with potential buyers and sellers sitting on their hands and waiting to see what happens with Brexit.’ The Guardian, 31 January 2019

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