First time buyers are leaving the property market in droves according to a survey by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). In September, the number of new buyer inquiries fell at the fastest rate since March 2003, while house prices fell for the second successive month. Economists said that the decline was evidence of the impact of higher interest rates, high house prices and a modest increase in disposable income.
The research also shows that house prices in the UK have fallen for the second consecutive month, with 14.6 per cent more surveyors reporting a drop in house prices than a rise – the biggest difference for two years. The number of those seeking to buy has also dropped for the tenth month in a row – 51 per cent more members reported a decline in the number people looking to buy a home compared with 39 per cent in August.
With the changes announced in capital gains tax, and rent increases of 10 per cent across the country this year, landlords look set to make a killing. Buy to let investors are expected to hold onto their properties in the wake of the pre-budget report reducing capital gains tax, and the increase in the inheritance tax allowance which comes in next year. With many potential purchasers waiting to see if house prices do fall, along with the shortage of larger three- and four-bedroom houses because of Hips, many people have moved into short-term rented properties. This increase in demand has pushed up rents in many areas.
The Guardian contacted a number of organisations to ask them for their property hotspots. Halifax, the mortgage lender looked to Northern Ireland and named Newtonards, County Down and Craigavon in County Armagh, where prices has risen more than anywhere else in the UK – 64 per cent over the last year.
Nationwide Building Society also had Northern Ireland as outstripping anywhere else in the country, with Belfast topping the table, with 50 per cent price jump in the past year. In second place was Aberdeen where prices have risen over 35 per cent. Scotland recorded the third fastest annual rate of growth, after Northern Ireland and London.
Rightmove gathered asking prices from 12,000 estate agent branches to compile their selection and came up with Kingston-upon-Thames, which added 20.5 per cent to prices. Equalling this annual growth was Oxford, where the student population pushes up prices.
Hometrack, which surveys estate agents prices in England and Wales, said the fastest price increases have been in the City of London which has seen a 26.1 per cent rise. Second on their list is Burnley, Lancashire, where prices jumped 18 per cent, albeit from a much lower base than the other areas.
And finally, the Land Registry, whose house price index is based on all residential transactions including cash sales, nominated Brighton and Hove with an increase of 15.9 per cent. In second place was, Calderdale, Yorkshire where prices have risen 11.3 per cent.