From February 2014 to February 2015 the number of loans fell by 16% and remortgage lending also continued to slump, partly due to election uncertainty but also due to typical seasonal trends. A positive upturn was predicted in the spring / summer months with competitive mortgage rates on offers to temp buyers.
The general election looming at the beginning of May saw the demand for property at the lowest it had been in the previous 12 months with only 22% of house sales being made to the first time buyer market.
Housing policies were a big feature of all three main parties’ manifestos and as a result buyers held off until after the election eagerly awaiting the results. With demand outstripping supply, all parties made promises to regulate this but with planning laws, lack of infrastructure and available labour this is not going to be regulated overnight and a focus for increasing the supply of homes is critical.
During May, the election month, average house prices across England, Scotland and Wales have continued to rise with the South East of England seeing the biggest increase of 1.3%. Despite previous fears, this shows positive signs of a confidence in the property market although there is still the continuing supply failing to meet demands to consider.
London house prices were 17% higher than those listed prior to the election and research revealed a surge in newly listed property across the UK’s four leading property websites, Rightmove, Zoopla, Prime Location and OnTheMarket. The number of homes listed with a valuation of up to £500,00 increased by 66%.
Despite the uncertainty prior to the general election, which dampened lending it would seem the predictions from the Council of Mortgage Lenders of business as usual once the result was known was correct.
For more information please contact Nicola Scahill or visit our website BCL Legal.