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House prices face a “winter of discontent” as rising inflation drives up mortgage costs after years of near-zero interest rates. This could finally slow property price growth or even send it to into reverse, experts warn. Winter is coming so how worried should you be?
As food and energy prices go through the roof, the Bank of England will come under ever greater pressure to increase interest rates to curb inflation. Yesterday’s figures showing unemployment falling and job vacancies hitting a record high have raised the stakes. The BoE could make the first rate hike as soon as December, with more to follow in 2021.
A petition for the triggering of the stamp duty upon exchange of contracts has been launched on the Government’s official petition website.
The campaign, launched last week, will run for six months. At the time of writing, it had already gained over 4,000 signatures.
In a statement to PropertyWire, the originator of the petition Chris Holland said: “People are finding themselves becoming trapped in a scenario whereby house prices are much higher, and at the same time they will now miss out on the stamp duty holiday. People are being financially punished from both sides, this from a policy that was designed to do the exact opposite.”
He added: “Exchanging contracts is exactly what it says. A contract, a legally binding agreement, to purchase a house often with an immediate 10% deposit being paid. So why shouldn’t you benefit from the stamp duty holiday being triggered at that moment of exchanging contracts, rather than at the point of completion? This will allow in particularly new build buyers, with continuous building delays due to COVID-19, to benefit from this policy.”
To sign the petition, please go here.
A dearth of supply abutting steady demand has caused housing prices within the UK to rise sharply, says the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in its latest UK Residential Market Survey.
The survey found that buyer demand had remained steady and consistent across the UK, but that the number of fresh listings was ‘insufficient’.
Furthermore, the authors write, “The survey’s headline measure of house price growth rose again over the month, with a net balance of +75 per cent of respondents noting an increase in prices during April. This is up from a reading of +62 per cent back in March and has now become successively more elevated in each of the last three reports. Furthermore, all UK regions/countries are now seeing a sharp pick-up in house price inflation.”
There was much commentary across the industry on the report. Tahir Farooqui, CEO of Canopy, said: “There’s a risk that the property market is being artificially propped up by measures like the stamp duty holiday. While higher-earners and second steppers have got to swoop in on the buying frenzy and make the most of cut costs, sky-high house prices are making homeownership even further out of reach for hopeful first-time buyers. When the dust settles and the support schemes are taken away, securing an affordable mortgage will remain a pipedream for many.”
Farooqui said that there should be support for those trying to move from renting a property to buying one. One measure, he said, would be to make rent payments count towards a credit rating to help first-time buyers when it came time to purchase a property.
Others pointed to the stamp duty extension as being the catalyst for the current bullish market. Rich Horner, head of individual protection at MetLife, said: “The fear of missing out has placed immense power in the hands of sellers, with many listings being sold at inflated prices that would have been inconceivable a year ago. But the market knows that this level of activity and house price growth is not sustainable, it’s a question of when prices stabilise rather than if.”
Source: Property Wire