Chat to a team member

Blog

Only the brave bet against bricks and mortar long term

Jonathan Samuels Jonathan Samuels
Posted on Jul 09, 2018 | in Blog

For some time now, the UK's property market has lacked both energy and direction. June, if the latest Halifax House Price Index is anything to go by, delivered much of the same. The market is in a protracted state of limbo.

House prices snuck up a fraction last month, by 0.3%, but the quarterly figure, a better representation of the market, showed a decline of 0.7%. On an annual basis, average house prices returned 1.8%, down from 1.9% in May.

If there's one word that accurately describes the property market right now, it's torpor. While the jobs market may be strong and mortgage rates still highly competitive, many households continue to feel the pinch and are wary of the potential fallout from Brexit.

Many prospective sellers, meanwhile, are very aware that it's a buyers' market at present and that unless their property is realistically priced, it won't be selling any time soon. As a result, a significant proportion are choosing to sit it out rather than take a hit.

Another Sword of Damocles hanging over the head of anyone considering buying or selling is whether rates are going up this year. At the beginning of 2018, a rate rise or even two was a cast-iron certainty.

But following the first quarter GDP data and multiple other weak datasets in the second quarter of 2018, it was suddenly off the cards all over again. Now, however, following last week's strong construction and services sector data, an August rate rise is back on the table.

This in itself is likely to dampen activity levels further during July, as people wait to see what's happening on the interest rate front. Because of this, expect house prices to continue idling along in their current rut. July could make June look dynamic.

As ever, of course, the lack of homes on the market and shortage of properties more generally will prevent prices going into free fall. With supply as tight as it is, a material decline in house values is simply not plausible.

The irony is that there is a lot of development activity at present. Much of this is increasingly taking place away from the capital, in the major regional hubs where there is perceived to be more value (and financial wiggle room).

Residential developers are betting that the market will bounce back and, over time, it's hard to believe it won't. If there's one thing history has taught us, it's that house prices always rise over time. Only the brave bet against bricks and mortar long term.

More in this section

Brace yourselves! 2019 could be 2009 all over again

Dec 07, 2018 | Blog

And so the end of another year approaches, as ever surprising…

Jonathan Samuels
Jonathan
READ MORE

The Silly (and Serious) Season is almost upon us

Nov 23, 2018 | Blog

These days, there’s something terrifying about the protracted…

Mark Posniak
Mark
READ MORE

A #3rdGen Oktoberfest

Nov 06, 2018 | Blog

This is our first blog for over a month so sincere apologies…

Mark Posniak
Mark
READ MORE
Sections
Archive
Twitter
Follow us @octanecapital

1 month, 3 weeks ago
Octane Capital hires senior structured finance manager https://t.co/KN8eQ1fOSl via @MortgageChat

5 months, 1 week ago
RT @adaptfinance: Frank keeping an eye on the matchballs #OctaneCapitalCup A great day out for us and for Frank... https://t.co/wuNTCpe1Rp

5 months, 1 week ago
RT @CapitalB18: whilst the Bridging Broker market play football this afternoon #octanecapitalcup we are open for any of those deals… https://t.co/FjU7nIcdqg

5 months, 3 weeks ago
@TandonHild Delighted although not that pleased with our teams selected #Rigged