Following the latest Halifax HPI data released this morning, industry experts have shared their reaction with IFA Magazine.
Their thoughts are below:
Nicky Stevenson, Managing Director at national estate agent group Fine & Country, said:“House prices dipped slightly in July, but the housing market remains in a strong position despite the economic headwinds.
“The easing of inflation improves the outlook for the property market, and although prices are still likely to cool further, it should be at a much slower rate than originally predicted.
“It seems even more likely that the property market will have a soft landing, and this is partly down to a big pool of motivated buyers who are still snapping up sensibly priced properties.
“Smaller homes in affordable locations close to major employment hotspots are the biggest draw at the moment, and these are also enticing first-time buyers to the market.
“There is some evidence that mortgage interest rates are having the greatest impact on the higher-value portion of the market, particularly for larger three and four-bed family homes. Southern England, which has some of the most expensive properties in the country, is experiencing a bigger drop in prices as buyer affordability is squeezed.
“A slowdown in rate rises, if inflation continues to be brought under control, could start to ease those pressures over the coming months.”
Jonathan Hopper, CEO of Garrington Property Finders, comments: “The property market’s reset is turning into a marathon rather than a sprint.
“The Halifax’s data shows that average prices continue to fall in all but one regions of the UK, and last week’s ratcheting up of interest rates will nudge up the cost of borrowing further.
“The pace of price falls remains relatively modest – with the Halifax estimating that July’s 0.3% drop shaved £1000 off the price of the average home.
“Meanwhile the Bank of England Governor is warning that higher interest rates are here to stay, pushing up the cost of mortgages and reducing the amount of money would-be buyers can borrow.
“Faced with this new reality, any hesitant movers waiting for interest rates to fall now have the clarity they wanted, if not the outcome they had hoped for.
“Would-be buyers with limited savings and who are heavily reliant on credit are being hit hardest. In many cases they are having to pare their budget right back, either looking for a smaller home or by focusing on more affordable postcodes.
“Buyers who’ve been on the property ladder for longer, and have additional cash savings, are winning on one hand as losing on the other as prices fall. Nevertheless, this is a buyer’s market and those with a decent amount of cash behind them can afford to be more pragmatic in how they structure their finances and their approach to househunting.
“Looking ahead, the market’s price correction is likely to continue as cautious buyers price risk and higher borrowing costs into what they’re prepared to pay for a property. In response, sellers are being forced to accept the new market landscape if they want to move and the market’s soft landing is set to continue.”
Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, James Forrester, commented: “The outlook has remained unchanged so far this year and while we’ve seen market uncertainty chip away at the previous high rates of pandemic house price growth, this decline has been largely insignificant.
“House prices remain robust and while borrowing affordability remains a concern for many buyers, increasing interest rates are yet to deter them from their aspirations of homeownership.”
Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, commented: “The recent decline in house prices has been consistent, albeit marginal, but it’s important to remember that the comparison being made is to the heights of the pandemic boom seen this time last year.
“When you consider this small detail, it’s actually quite remarkable that the market is still standing so strong given the wider economic picture.”
Managing Director of House Buyer Bureau, Chris Hodgkinson, commented: “The overarching prediction for the property market in 2023 was a cooling rate of house price growth heading in the direction of a return to normality, not a collapse. So far this year, that’s certainly what we’ve seen and, in fact, the reduction in house prices has actually been less severe than anticipated.
“While other factors are proving more problematic for both buyers and sellers, such as the turbulence caused by the increased cost of borrowing, the market is standing firm at present. Although it’s fair to say it’s been standing in the same spot for the last few months.”
Co-founder and CEO of Searchland, Mitchell Fasanya, commented: “Despite the wider economic picture, the appetite for homeownership has remained strong and particularly amongst first-time buyers.
“As a result, we’ve seen an ongoing commitment from the nation’s big housebuilders to deliver stock to market and this confidence bodes well for the year ahead and beyond.”
Managing Director of Sirius Property Finance, Nicholas Christofi, commented: “The heightened cost of borrowing will continue to squeeze the purchasing power of the nation’s homebuyers, who have little choice but to offer less, or opt for smaller homes.
“This will inevitably cause house prices to cool further over the coming months, however, this will come in the form of a gradual reduction, not a cliff edge.”