If you own a house in the East of England, the good news is it could be worth considerably more than it did one year ago. According to the latest figures published by the National Office of Statistics, annual growth in house prices in the region rose by 13.3% in the year to August 2016, outperforming the South East at 12.2% and London at 12.1%.
The UK House Price Index showed that growth was strong across the country, with average house prices increasing by 8.4% compared to 8.0% in the year to July 2016. That means, across the UK, the average house will set you back £218,964.
It’s now nearly three months from the shock result of UK to leave the EU. We’ve been told that “Brexit means Brexit”, but for the time being, nobody seems to know exactly what will happen next – politically or economically.
In terms of property, such uncertainty breeds uncertainty – and borrowing has dropped considerably. According to data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders, total borrowing by house owners was £10.6 billion in July 2016 – down 13% compared to the previous month and a 12%.drop compared to the previous year. At 58,100, the total number of loans taken out by homeowners was also down 14% month on month and 13% year on year. First-time buying also took a hit – down 19% month on month and 6% lower than June 2015.
So should we be worried about a slowdown? A drop in borrowing can suggest a cooling off in the market, but there may be factors other than the referendum result at play here.
Have you ever wondered about retiring somewhere different? Or what place might be the best to bring up the kids? According to two recent surveys, for family life the East of England comes out top, but for retirement you might want to look West or South.
uSwitch.com has just published its first ever Better Family Life Index and the top three areas are all located in the East of England: Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Central Bedfordshire.
I think it’s safe to say that our property market has recovered well this year.
In fact, it’s bounced back so well that your own house could now be earning more than you.
Post Office research claims that around two-thirds of people in the UK earned an annual salary less than the average UK home. Over the last 12 months, the average house price went up more in value than average annual earnings – that’s £29,339 to £27,271.
Unsurprisingly, London took it to a whole other level, with homes going up £80,000 over the same period. That’s twice the average salary in the capital, and around £10,000 over the average pay of a fully qualified doctor.
Since the majority of people aren’t big money earners, this increase may compound the difficulties of first-time buying. Graduate nurses earn around £21,000, police officers take home £23,000 and a teacher’s standard wage is £22,000.
Although there are some signs of salaries rising and inflation falling, for people still struggling to climb on to the property ladder, this news is going to be another concern.
Having said that, relief from the heated housing marketing is due in 2015. Experts are predicting a marked slowdown. High prices, Mortgage Market Review guidance (e.g. stricter criteria for borrowers), and less demand from overseas buyers are cited as being some of the causes.
Keep reading our articles – we’ll keep you updated on what’s happening throughout 2015.