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The UK house buying market – what the latest statistics mean

 

The continuing economic uncertainty has meant that many prospective house buyers — or those who many have been considering a move to a larger property — are holding back.

Concerns about employment security, the costs involved in purchasing or moving, as well as uncertainty over future interest rate rises have caused a slowdown in the market which has impacted first time buyers as well as those further up the chain.

The recent 0.6% October rise in house prices was preceded by a 0.4% fall the previous month and there has been a similar pattern of rises and falls over the last six months, which equates to a period of relative stability in the house buying market.

These figures were provided by a leading building society and their figures are based on mortgages which have been approved during the month.  Borrowing continues to be slow and analysts predict that the market trend will continue with no major upturn expected.

It is hoped that confidence will return as the UK emerges from double-dip recession, although the on-going situation in the Eurozone is a negative factor. Some vendors are reducing house prices in an attempt to speed up property sales and estate agents are aware that the winter months have always traditionally been a slower time in the property market.

Analysts believe that the market slowdown will continue until there is an appreciable improvement in household income. 

Economists are predicting house price rises in the longer term, but the key question for many people remains:  to buy or not to buy?

As well as affordability considerations, an important factor is how long the purchaser is likely to (or wishes to) own the property, whether it has been bought as an investment or as a home. These are important factors to bear in mind as the twin factors of interest rate rises and a fall in house prices may impact on future plans to move house.

It is hoped that market and economic confidence will return, but now more than ever is the time for purchasers to be as certain as possible about their potential purchase. 

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