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Slight Fall in UK House Prices but Outlook Remains Positive

According to leading UK lender Nationwide’s latest house price index, there was a 0.1% fall in prices in May. This follows Rightmove’s latest update which reported a 1.8% increase using slightly different criteria. Both entities anticipate a positive outlook provided interest rates remain stable. Nationwide’s Chief Economist did acknowledge that the recent disappointing inflation figure is likely to lead to further rate increases in the short term. However, Nationwide remains of the view that there will be a relatively soft landing given the strong labour market and reasonably solid household balance sheets. Over and above this, as we have commented on many times, new housing supply continues to lag demand.

Posted by: Kelvin Tayfield, Sun, Jun 4th 2023

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London Named Best City Brand in the World

The inaugural Brand Finance City index released recently ranked London first ahead of New York and Paris in second and third place respectively based on a survey of 15,000 people in 20 countries across all continents. Along with asking about familiarity, the survey looked at the top 100 cities in the world in terms of living, studying, working locally or remotely, retiring, investing and visiting. London ranked first in two of the seven key criteria – study and visit – and top 4 in every other. Over and above these criteria, when one considers that London is still the dominant financial hub in Europe, it is easy to see why real estate in the city remains a compelling investment.

Posted by: Kelvin Tayfield, Sun, May 21st 2023

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UK Housing Market Stabilises

Zoopla’s latest house price index for May 2023 revealed that the housing market is as balanced as it has been for many years with buyer demand and sales volumes recovering, leading the company to conclude that a major correction is very unlikely. In fact, Zoopla expects an annual price fall of only 1% for 2023 which underlines the resilience of the UK property market and once again is proving the doomsayers wrong. Despite the rapid rise in interest rates, tougher stress testing rules for banks have averted widespread defaults which occurred in previous cycles. With banks offering competitive deals and rapidly rising rentals, first time buyers are rushing to enter the market and made up the biggest percentage of buyers this year.

Posted by: Kelvin Tayfield, Sun, May 7th 2023

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Some Positive Signs for the UK Economy

A recent S&P survey revealed that the UK services sector recorded its second consecutive month of growth in March boosted by the strongest growth in new business in a year and the best export performance since 2014. The services sector accounts for some 80% of the UK economy so this is indeed good news although there are still economic headwinds mainly in the form of inflation to overcome. As we all know, sentiment is almost as important as statistics and it is pleasing to see that according to S&P, optimism is at its highest since March last year which along with reduced energy bills should support the economy going into summer.

Posted by: Kelvin Tayfield, Sun, Apr 30th 2023

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Retiring Landlords Fuelling Rental Shortage

Leading estate agency Hamptons recently reported that a generation of retiring landlords who bought properties in the 1990’s is selling them to fund their retirement and the next generation does not have the means to fill the gap. Hamptons noted that of the 2.75m landlords, 924,000 are over 65 with another 96,000 reaching that age each year. The agency observed that London is the most affected as landlords cash in on the huge price increases in the City since the 1990’s. Furthermore, as we have previously noted builders are failing to deliver sufficient new homes to meet demand adding more fuel to the frenzied rental market.

Posted by: Kelvin Tayfield, Sun, Apr 23rd 2023