House prices inching up, sales progressing more quickly, and a restrained supply of properties for sale have all played their part in a return to strength for the UK property market, according to the latest market analysis from Home.
Home.co.uk's Asking Price Index for April reveals that consequently, nominal price falls appear highly unlikely in the near term, contrary to the recent gloomy predictions in the property media.
Business as usual? Several indicators show that activity has returned to levels that rival the state of the market pre-COVID. Typical Time on market is now much lower than it was in 2019 and the current total stock of property for sale remains significantly lower than during that pre-COVID year, despite recent rises.
Prices have clearly corrected to the new lending conditions, and this has paved the way for the recovery we are now witnessing. For the time being, London, the South East and the East are the weakest performing regions while the North of England, Scotland and Wales are all showing remarkable annualised growth, particularly considering the turmoil the market experienced towards the end of last year.
Mortgage rates remain very low compared to the rate of inflation and this is most certainly helping fuel buyer demand. It is without precedent that 10-year fixed-rate mortgages are available at just under 4% while inflation is north of 10% (either CPI or RPI).
The annualised mix-adjusted average asking price growth across England and Wales is now -0.3%; in April 2022, the annualised rate of increase of home prices was 6.4%.