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COMMENT: Why are property values going down for the first time in ten years?

halifax|matt thompson chestertons|

The Halifax revealed today that house prices have fallen on an annual basis for the first time since December 2012, by 1%.

This means the average house value has declined by �132 which may not sound a lot but represents a seismic change after years of ultra-low interest rates prompted continuous waves of price rises for landlords.

This news will trouble some buy to let investors who are relying on their portfolios to rise in value as part of their investment or retirement plans, particularly if they have just started out.

The wider question is whether the housing market faces big problems overall or whether today'�s '�price correction'�, as economists like to call it, is a blip.

Here'�s what different experts have told us.

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The industry leader '� Nathan Emerson, Propertymark

'House prices are holding steady, and we are in a sturdy market.

"Propertymark data has found a 70% increase in properties available for sale compared to April 2022, showing confidence from sellers, and giving buyers more choice and room for negotiation."

matt thompson chestertons

The estate agent '� Matt Thompson, Chestertons

'Strong buyer demand [in London] has and will continue to contribute to the majority of the capital'�s properties holding their value and, in some particularly sought-after neighbourhoods, allow sellers to be insistent on their asking price without allowing room for negotiation.'�

Specialist lender '� Gareth Lewis, MT Finance

'These numbers are unsurprising, given the fall in transactions. They also reflect that those who are willing to buy are less bullish when it comes to committing to higher house prices because everything is costing more, so they are going to chip away at the price,'� he says.

'Mortgage borrowers overall, other than perhaps some first-time buyers, can still afford a mortgage but just have to be prepared to put their hand in their pocket a bit more.

'This is all part of a re-education process; money isn'�t free, and you are going to have to pay more for it in future. The housing market will inevitably be quieter as a result.'�

The portal boss '� Jason Tebb,

'The high cost of living, recent disappointing inflation news and the likelihood of further rate rises will impact what buyers are willing to pay for their next home,'� he says.

'This news should be taken, however, in the context of the unprecedented post pandemic house price growth, fuelled by a lack of supply and pent up demand - property prices are still, on average, �25,000 above the level of 2 years ago.'�

The estate agent '� Jeremy Leaf, former RICS Residential Chairman

'Halifax, like the Nationwide figures, exclude cash sales and reflect activity from a few months ago.

'But they confirm recent trends that tentative market recovery is being threatened by the prospect of more interest rate rises and stubbornly high inflation. 

'And the survey shows prices are still considerably above where they were two years ago so cash and equity-rich buyers in particular are recognising the opportunities.'�


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