Jackson-Stops comment on the latest ONS House Price Index

Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, comments on the latest ONS House Price Index:

“With house prices continuing to rise on both a monthly and annual basis, the question on the market’s lips now is whether we’ve reached the peak of house prices or if there is still more space to climb. There was a sense that a quietened festive period would allow supply and demand levels to balance out, but the sheer level of competition that remains underpins the strength in the market to ensure a soft landing on predicted price falls.

“While the levels of growth month on month might be narrowing, it’s important to look back on the year as a whole. Those that owned a property in November 2021 in the past 12 months have made £28,000 on average. Jackson-Stops’ own national branch data shows a hopeful picture for December, with instructions up 47% giving buyers much more choice, alongside an 165% uptick is agreed sales compared to the same period last year, demonstrating the sustained appetite for good family homes.

“Although the market has not been immune from political and economic uncertainty, it will be more sharply felt by those at the start of their property journey or on a fixed rate deal coming to an end. Despite our challenging lending environment with interest rates now at 3.5%, it is important to remember that borrowing remains accessible and while current rates are not an indication of future ones, there are still opportunities to be had – mortgage rates have now fallen to their lowest for three months. The government’s recent decision to remove the mortgage stress test from August 1st 2022 demonstrated a commitment to keeping the market moving. House prices are much steadier than six months ago, with previous wild spikes in values now cooling back down to the realms of normality. It will be homes that are optimistically priced to test the market that may fall victim to much lengthier transaction times, with an increased likelihood of down valuations and unprepared buyers.”