UK house price sentiment moderates

Taylor Scott International News

Almost 20% of households in the UK perceived that the value of their home rose in January, according to the latest House Price Sentiment Index which reveals a downward trend in 2014. Some 19.5% of the 1,500 households surveyed across the UK said that the value of their home had risen over the last month, while 3.1% reported a fall, the data from Knight Frank and Markit Economics shows. This gave the HPSI a reading of 58.2, the twenty second consecutive month that the reading has been above 50. The index report points out that the HPSI was on a general downward trend for most of the second half of 2014. January’s reading of 58.2, the lowest in 14 months, was a continuation of this trend and well below the average reading for last year of 61. In spite of the month on month fall, households in all 11 regions covered by the index reported that prices rose in January, led by Londoners at 65.3 and households in the South East at 63, while, households in the North West at 53 and Wales at 53.9 perceived the slowest rates of price growth over the course of the month. In London, perceptions of house price growth moderated compared to the previous month and stand well below the previous high of 74.9 in April last year, suggesting that households are less confident that the value of their property has risen than previously. The future HPSI, which measures what households think will happen to the value of their property over the next year, fell in January to 69.5, down from 70.5 the previous month. This was the second consecutive monthly fall in house price expectations across the UK. The future HPSI stands well below its record high of 75.1, which was seen in May 2014. Households in London at 75.3 are the most likely to expect price rises over the next 12 months, followed by those in the South West at 75.1 and the South East at 74.9, the index shows. Expectations of price growth are highest among mortgage borrowers and those who own their home outright with readings of 75.8 and 71.3 respectively, followed by those living rent free at 66.8. ‘House price sentiment has slowed across the country despite the cut in stamp duty introduced by the Chancellor in December. Households in London and the South East signal slower annual rises in house prices this month than last month, an important development as these areas have been the engines of high house price growth over the last year,’ said Grainne Gilmore, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank. ‘Even the prospect of record-low interest rates being in place for longer than anticipated has not been enough to lift expectations for house price growth on a monthly basis in January, however this, coupled with an expected rise in wage growth will likely result in modest price uplifts over 2015,’ she added. Tim Moore, senior economist at… Continue reading →

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