The Current Housing Market.

by Mark Johnston

The Current Housing Market.

Research has shown that confidence is flooding back in to the UK housing market.

Figures show that mortgage approvals in July this year has been 30 per cent higher than a year earlier and house prices have also risen by around 5 per cent in the year to August 2013.

home_1002382cAccording to a recent survey conducted by the Santander ‘over five million people plan to buy a home with in the next 12 months.

The Post Office’s annual House Buying Habits mortgage report also shows that a third or 33 per cent of people plan to buy a property in the next 5 years.

John Willcock, head of mortgages at the Post Office, says “it is really encouraging to see such optimism among potential home buyers. The property market could really get going in the next few years if this buoyant attitude continues.”

The report goes on to reveal that over half of first time buyers and 56 per cent of house movers are hoping to move onto or up the property ladder in the next 3 years.

Phil Cliff, director of Santander mortgages, has said “the UK has seen a number of encouraging economic statistics emerging in recent weeks and months and our findings suggest a significant increase in confidence in the housing market”.

Toby Limbrick of Network Auctions, added that “these reports clearly show the underlying optimism and pent up demand in the housing market.”

Housing is a basic human need, which is fundamental to our economic and social well-being. These words are perhaps even more relevant today than when they were written almost a decade ago.

However, the bank of England has recently expressed concerns that housing supply will not meet demand.

The problem is that while government housing schemes have boosted mortgage availability and in turn demand for houses it has still failed to boost housing supply.

If demand rises faster than supply, then in the long run house prices will continue to be much higher than incomes.

This said in June this year, the former housing minister, Mark Prisk, acknowledged that construction rates were failing to keep up with the predicted 230,000 a year growth in the number of households.

This fact was then backed up by a pledge from the current government to increase the rate of construction to 200,000 homes a year by 2020.

Although this sounded great the fact is that recent research has revealed that  the annual supply of new housing currently adds considerably less than 1 per to the housing stock, so even measures with the potential to increase new supply significantly can have only a very small impact in the short term on housing need and costs.

In conclusion then it seems clear that the ability to buy a property and also the availability of properties is still a major factor in the housing market, but where there is a will, there is usually a way!


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