Up or down? Which way is the property market going?…
Nationwide and Halifax put a lot of work into providing us with useful numbers when it comes to house prices, but unfortunately they can be confusing.
For example, in February, Nationwide saw house price gains of 0.3%, whereas Halifax quoted a slide of 1.4%. In terms of house prices, Nationwide placed the average UK home at £196,930 compared with January’s £196,829, however Halifax reported the average for the same period had decreased from £209,495.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Economist, reported almost 75,000 mortgage approvals in January, an increase of 4,000 from December and said:
“Much of the increase is likely to be related to the impending increase in Stamp Duty on second homes, due to take effect in April. “This is likely to have brought forward a significant number of purchases, which in turn will probably result in a fall back in approvals during the spring/summer.”
Halifax’s Economist Martin Ellis stated that a “significant imbalance between supply and demand” still existed, but felt there were tentative signs that the current supply of available properties for sale could be starting to improve.
We all realise that this information is just a guide. As to which one is more useful…I think we’ll leave it up to you to you decide!