The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors revealed that in the first three months of 2014 the number of homes sold per chartered surveyors jumped to its highest levels in six years.
The second quarter of 2014 has however, indicated a slow down in the housing market following RICS reporting a fourth consecutive monthly fall in new property coming onto the market in April.
Despite fewer houses coming on to the market, 26% more chartered surveyors reported an increase in agreed sales, according to the latest RICS Residential Market Survey, leading to concerns about supply in some parts of the country.
The Halifax report that house prices for June drop 0.6%, which reveals a bigger monthly fall than was widely anticipated. A fall which knocks £1,100 off the average property value, according to the Halifax.
The Nationwide house price index for June in contrast, revealed prices had increased by 1% in June 2014 and were 11.8% higher than June 2013.
Although figures between lenders may fluctuate slightly what we are seeing is a slight slow down in the pace of the housing market.
A two pace housing market is forming with property prices up by 18.5% year-on-year in London in May, but prices only rose by 1.3% in the North West. The figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and some lenders also suggest that prices in London and the South East of England have risen much more sharply than other areas.
April saw the introduction of new tougher lending criteria as a result of the Mortgage Market Review.
A borrower’s ability to afford the mortgage, both now and in the future, will now be assessed subject to a ‘stress test’ as part of the new regulatory regime, as is evidencing a borrower’s income in all cases. For those buying with smaller deposits and consequently higher loan to value mortgages the degree of scrutiny is likely to be higher.
The process of taking out a mortgage is now expected to take longer with the requirement of advisers to be more thorough in ascertaining a borrower’s circumstances than ever before which may be a contributing factor in causing the market to slow down slightly.