Housing Affordability Improves at Fastest Rate for Eight Years.

National average price of newly-marketed property rises by 0.7% (+£1,981) this month, consistent with the average 0.6% February uplift in the previous two years.

New sellers in northerly regions have the pricing power to ask for more, compared to a year ago. With six of the seven regions seeing annual price growth in excess of 2%.

Some signs of buyer hesitancy with number of sales agreed in January down 4% on prior year.

National average asking prices of newly-marketed property rise by 0.7% (+£1,981) this month. This is consistent with the recent norm for this time of year which saw an average 0.6% February uplift over the previous two years. However, as we enter the traditionally more buoyant spring market the average annual rise of 0.2% (+£714) is the most subdued that online property portal, Rightmove has recorded at this time of year since 2009. As a result, and with average wage growth now running at an annual rate of 3.4%, buyer affordability is improving at the fastest rate against average new seller asking prices since 2011.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst comments:

Longer daylight hours and green shoots appearing in gardens herald the start of the traditionally more buoyant spring market. Sellers’ subdued pricing is now being outstripped by higher average wage growth, meaning that buyer affordability is on the rise at the fastest rate in nearly eight years. Buyers are also being given the leg-up by cheap mortgage rates, if they can meet lenders’ criteria and lay their hands on a large enough deposit. In theory the scene would be set for an active spring if it were not for the uncertain political backdrop.

There have been regional changes seen in the February release of the house pricing index, and the North East looks like its set amongst the most buoyant housing market. With an average monthly increase of 3.3% in the region, it’s certainly a buyers market. An average annual increase of 3.4% will notably make most change to those properties purchased just before the housing crash of 2008. A long time overdue upturn for housing prices in the North East region, which will no doubt be welcomed by many in the Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Sunderland areas.

For more information, visit the land registry house pricing index, or read the full article from Rightmove here.

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