Residential Development Finance News:- Annual house prices increased by just 0.4 per cent for the year finishing at the end of February 2019, according to the Nationwide index.
However, there was a slight 0.1 per cent dip in house prices for February with the average figure at £211,304 compared with £211,996 in January.
Nationwide’s chief economist, Robert Gardner said: “Measures of consumer confidence weakened around the turn of the year and surveyors reported a further fall in new buyer enquiries over the same period.
“While the number of properties coming onto the market also slowed, this doesn’t appear to have been enough to prevent a modest shift in the balance of demand and supply in favour of buyers in recent months.”
Residential Development Finance:- First time buyers make a difference
He pointed to data produced by the housing, communities and local government department showing a slight rise in home ownership in 2018 to 63.5 per cent compared with 62.6 per cent in 2017.
“The number of people owning their own home with a mortgage rose by 5 per cent over the year to 6.9 million, though this is still 20 per cent below the peak recorded in 2000.
“Supportive labour market conditions and a number of policy changes, especially in the regulatory and tax system, have improved the bargaining position of home buyers relative to investors.”
Lenders point to the government’s ‘help to buy’ equity loan scheme enabling first-time buyers to get their foot on the ladder as boosting home ownership numbers.
Foundation Home Loans marketing director, Jeff Knight, said: “There are numbers of buyers and sellers shrugging off economic concerns to progress with their property ambitions, and seizing the opportunity to snap up discounted homes in the process.
“Indeed, we have read just recently that we have seen a big rise in first time buyer activity, who now represent a big part of the market, which is a good sign and shows the impact of recent initiatives. And I also expect a number of landlords to see an opportunity to expand their portfolios.”
The biggest improvement in home ownership in the last year has been among the 35 to 44 year olds. However, at 57 per cent, the rate is still well below its peak of 73 per cent in 2006.
Lack of supply and government attempts to stimulate house building means the demand for residential development finance is expected to stay strong.