Property price growth slowed over the course of last month, a new survey indicates.
According to research carried out by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), house price inflation in June fell from the previous month as borrowers were said to struggle to make secured loan repayments. Despite the value of homes being reported to have risen for the 20th consecutive month, this growth was half of that recorded in May. The study indicated that 10.6 per cent more chartered surveyors reported a rise rather than a fall in house prices, down from 22.5 per cent in the previous month. Meanwhile, this figure was said to be below the long run average of 21.6 per cent.
Across Britain, Northern Ireland was reported to be driving housing costs the most “as the peace premium remains a boost to price growth”. Meanwhile, Scotland and London were both said to have shown “buoyant” increases. Despite the rises, first-time buyer enquiries fell at their fastest rate since February as the effect of interest rates impacts upon consumers’ affordability to make secured loan repayments. Some 15 per cent of chartered surveyors reported a fall rather than a rise in buyer enquiries in June, compared to a two per cent increase in May. New buyer enquiries were also said to have decreased all regions with the exception of Scotland, the West Midlands and Wales.
Spokesperson for Rics Ian Perry said: “House prices have finally started to cool significantly for the first time since the recent mini boom in the housing market got underway in 2006. Interest rate hikes have begun to affect the psychology of the market with potential new buyers starting to think twice before buying a home. ” Mr Perry added that the Bank’s interest rate rise in July may not be the last as the effects of recent increases are yet to be fully felt by consumers. The Rics representative also claimed that the housing sector is set for a “softer landing” over the coming months as autumn approaches.
Figures from the financial services company also reported that confidence among surveyors about the outlook of property prices has reached a three-year low due to five interest rate rises by the Bank of England in the past year and “the prospect of more to come”.
Meanwhile, a study conducted by Halifax earlier this month revealed a fall in house price growth during the second quarter of 2007. According to the firm, property values increased by two per cent during the three-month period, compared to a rise of three per cent recorded between January and March. As with the Rics study, figures from the Yorkshire-based lender also indicated that the Greater London region and Northern Ireland had help to propel the increasing value of homes.
In addition, rising immigration and demand for property from buy-to-let investors was said to have driven costs, with the average home now reported to be worth £228,790. Although chief economist Martin Ellis claimed that a shortfall in supply is set to continue to push housing prices for the remainder of 2007, he pointed out that this is set to be a lower rate than that witnessed earlier this year.
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