The UK property market hasn’t crashed, it’s levelled, says Mason Thomas Law
The announcement by Halifax, HSBC and First Direct that they are cutting interest rates, signals the start of the levelling of the residential property market, says property law specialist Mason Thomas Law.
As well as the rising interest rates, the rising house price tide is also turning. Office of National Statistics (ONS) data shows that the average UK house price annual inflation was 1.9% in the 12 months to May 2023, down from the revised estimate of 3.2% in the 12 months to April 2023.
According to the ONS, over the last four years the average house price has increased from £228,314 to more than £285,000 in 2023. It was against this backdrop of rocketing UK house price inflation that property law specialist Mason Thomas Law was established.
Since 2019 Cathy Thomas, property law solicitor and owner of Mason Thomas Law has been at the forefront of the property market’s increasing highs, managing property sales and leases on residential properties.
Despite the decrease in house prices and interest rates, Cathy however, is not concerned and she urges others not to be either. In fact, she welcomes the market dip.
“Contrary to popular opinion, the residential property market has not crashed; it has levelled out,” says Cathy. “We’ve had 15 years of abnormally low interest rates combined with the property boom driven by the temporary abolition of Stamp Duty during the Covid pandemic. This created a false property market. We’re simply getting to where we should be now.”
UK house prices are expected to fall 2% over 2024. Despite this, homes continue to be expensive by historic standards amid rising mortgage rates over the last 18 months.
“I think the real concern will come in a few months’ time when people’s favourable mortgage terms end,” explained Cathy.
“Mortgage rates have increased substantially in the last 12 months. Although we are now starting to see a fall, I don’t believe future mortgage rates will be anywhere near the ultra low levels we have seen for nearly 15 years.
“Combined with the increased cost of living, rising mortgage repayments could make it unaffordable for people and we may see an influx of properties on the housing market next year.”
The average monthly cost of a new mortgage has risen by more than 60% since 2022.This has resulted in a monthly mortgage repayment increasing by £461 (61%) since December 2021 to £1,262 for a property purchased at the average December 2022 price of £286,000.
“The rise in house prices and continuing low interest rates were not sustainable. This had to happen. This isn’t a temporary situation, however. I believe this will be the norm and, ultimately, lead to a less volatile and more steady residential property market which could open up more opportunities for younger people to get their foot on the property ladder,” said Cathy.
If you are looking to buy or sell a property Mason Thomas Law can provide the expert help and guidance you need contact us here or give us a call 0114 2945 360.