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July 28, 2014 11:30 am
Rising prices are taking a toll on consumer sentiment towards the housing market, with a sharp drop in the number who think now is the right time to buy.
Figures from Halifax show the balance between those who think the time is right, against those who do not, has fallen by 29 points in the last quarter to a positive balance of just 5 per cent.
Set against that, a net balance of 25 per cent believe it will be a good time to sell in the next 12 months, revealing an increasing divergence in the attitudes of buyers and sellers.
Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at Halifax, suggested the market has now reached a “tipping point with the equilibrium between buyers and sellers much more out of sync.”
The regional variation in the survey reflects the markets that have seen the most rapid rises: a balance of 19 per cent think now would be a bad time to buy a property in London, compared with 29 per cent in the North East who think it would be a good time to buy.
This chimes with recent data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’, which reported that buyer demand in the capital had contracted for the second consecutive month.
Separate data on Monday from the Land Registry showed house price growth between May and June to be essentially flat, in a further indication that some of the heat may be coming out of the housing market.
Seven of the 10 regions in England and Wales actually saw prices fall on a monthly basis, with the previously rampant London market growing by just 0.1 per cent.
On a yearly basis, prices were up by an average of 6.4 per cent in England and Wales, but with a strong regional split: London was up 16.4 per cent on the year, compared with just 0.8 per cent in the North East.
Average house prices in the North East are still substantially below their 2007 peak.
The Halifax results are based on a poll of a little less than 2,000 adults conducted in the first two weeks of July.
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