Sales are finally on the up, while better mortgage deals are landing regularly, however, under the surface problems still lurk in the property market.
The latest house price news, predictions and market reports are analysed by This is Money’s property expert Simon Lambert
The property market outlook
Simon Lambert, This is Money’s property expert, runs the rule over the latest house prices reports House hunters have hit their highest level for three-and-a-half years, driven by falling mortgage rates and the Government’s plan to reboot the property market.
House prices posted their first slight rise since June 2010, according to the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors report, with estate agents seeing the effects of cheaper mortgages thanks to the Funding for Lending scheme kick in.
Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget roll of the dice on the property market, with more help for both first-time buyers and home movers also boosted confidence, said Rics, despite a major part of the plan not falling into place until next year.
RICS report followed a bullish forecast from the Centre for Economics and Business Research that the cost of the average home will jump by nearly £50,000 over the next five years. The CEBR said house prices will ‘surpass’ their pre-crisis peak for the first time next year, reaching an average of £227,000. By 2018, it predicts the cost of the typical UK home will be £267,000.
RICS polls its member estate agents each month on their experience to provide a barometer of the property market.
It said that house prices were now back in positive territory, albeit only just, with 1 per cent more of its members overall reporting prices rising rather than falling.
Price changes: The map from Rightmove shows how asking prices have fallen in certain pockets of England and Wales
The underlying picture showed that Britain’s property market is still a game of two halves. There were strong gains in London and the South East and smaller rises in Wales and the North West.
But prices are still falling in all other regions, including significant drops in the north of England and Scotland.
RICS reported that new buyer enquiries rose to their highest level in over three years, with 25 per cent more chartered surveyors saying they rose rather than fell – almost double the 13 per cent recorded in March.