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House prices continue to rise as homeowners reap rewards of high demand

by International Commercial Investment on November 30, 2017

Source: The Express

HOUSE prices remained steady from October to November according to the influential Nationwide November House Price Index released today.

The news defies the doom-laden expectation of economists who cited ‘Brexit uncertainty’ and interest rate rise as potential triggers for a slowdown.

House prices increased a steady 2.5 per cent in November from the same month in 2016. However this is a significant decline to the 4.4 per cent rise recorded last November.

The monthly price rise percentage in the UK was 0.1 percent for November and 0.2 percent for October, with the year on year price rise taking the average worth of a British home from £209,988 to £211,085, according to the index.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “Low mortgage rates and healthy rates of employment growth are providing support for demand, but this is being partly offset by pressure on household incomes, which appears to be weighing on confidence.”

Mr Gardner adds the scarcity of homes on the market is boosting house prices adding the big Budget news to abolish stamp duty for first time buyers will only have a “modest impact on overall demand”.

Jonathan Samuels, CEO of the property lender Octane Capital told “Despite the uncertainty of Brexit, prices overall are being supported by strong employment, cheap mortgages despite the recent rate rise and the ongoing shortage of homes for sale.

“Compared to the volatility of Bitcoin, the UK’s property market is starting to look positively Victorian.”

Paresh Raja, CEO of MFS told Britain’s property prices remain “impressive, given the uncertainty gripping all markets at present as a result of Brexit and this year’s general election”.

The news comes in wake of research by Halifax claiming that the total value of Britain’s privately owned housing stocks has reached over £6trillion for the first time.

The value of housing stock has grown by close to £2trn over the last decade and the research also points to an ever-widening gap between the south and the rest of the country.

Properties in London are now worth a staggering £1.3trn of the £6trn sum and the value of homes in the capital is now greater than the combined total worth of every house in Scotland, Wales and the north of England.

In the long-term Nationwide index highlights the work needed to be done to tackle the UK’s housing supply issues.

With construction of new homes still “too low”, Nationwide argue for swelling Britain’s living abodes through “change of use” – chaining offices and shops to home – as “providing the biggest boost, driven by a shift in government policy”.

Since 2014 “change of use” or “office-to-resi” conversions has provided 18,000 much-needed homes merely by making it easier for developers to cut through the thicket of red tape and allow people to live in the UK’s vacant spaces.

Mark Dyason, managing director of Thistle Finance told that: “So called ‘office-to-resi’ conversions have breathed life into the London market in particular. Change of use is delivering real change across the capital.

“The reduction in red tape on ‘change of use’ developments has been a green light for developers across the country,” Mr Dyason said.

International Commercial InvestmentHouse prices continue to rise as homeowners reap rewards of high demand