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Property market has peaked as prices start to slide downwards

Monday, 15 April 2019  |  Admin

Data analysis by property management business Apropos has found that average house prices in the UK, England and Scotland peaked in the second half of 2018.

Wales is now the only UK country with an increasing average house price.

In August 2018, average property prices in the UK, England and Scotland peaked at £232,194, £152,411 and £249,127 respectively.

Average London prices haven’t increased since the July 2017 figure of £488,527, with current figures 3% below that. Welsh house prices have continued to increase, with a December 2018 average of £161,845.

Gross mortgage levels

Gross mortgage advances are up, with the figure of £73.5 billion the highest since the end of 2007.

High loan-to-income borrowing, defined as four times annual income for a single buyer or three times joint income for joint buyers, is on the increase. It now stands at 47%, an increase of 1.7%.

Loans of over 90% of the property value have also increased to 4.3%.

The amount of mortgages with some arrears increased for the first time since the first half of 2016.

David Alexander joint managing director of Apropos said: “Whilst there are concerns that the property market has stalled and is now falling back in most parts of the UK this is due to a number of factors rather than the enormous overheating of the market which occurred in 2007.

“London is undoubtedly suffering from a market which grew incredibly quickly and is now stabilising at a lower level. This will be because of individuals and investor worries over Brexit and continued economic uncertainty. The latest statement from the Chancellor that growth in the UK this year is slowing to its lowest level since 2012 will have done little to reassure the property markets.

There is little doubt that the buy-to-let market has fallen back as smaller, more independent investors exit the market due to the enormous financial and regulatory changes which have occurred in the last couple of years. This will be taking some heat out of the market at a time when individual buyers may already be holding from commitment due to external factors.

“That does not mean that there will not be more adjustments in the market, but it should not be on the scale that it was over ten years ago when prices took a considerable time to return to the peak rates. In London it took just under four years for average prices to recover but across the UK as a whole it was not until August 2014 that average prices returned to their September 2007 peak. In Scotland and Wales, it took a further three years for this to occur.”

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