Nationwide and Zoopla warn of housing slowdown
This week saw both Nationwide and Zoopla publish their latest house price indices, and – as Halifax and Rightmove before them – both warned of an imminent slowdown in the UK housing market.
Nationwide reported that annual growth had slowed to 10.7% in June, down from 11.2% in May, with the average property now valued at £271,613.
The mortgage provider also reported a 0.3% monthly increase, with the South West now outperforming Wales as the strongest performing region.
Whilst a lack of homes on the market has maintained upward pressure on house prices, Nationwide warned that the market was likely to cool over the coming months.
There are tentative signs of a slowdown, with the number of mortgages approved for house purchases falling back towards pre-pandemic levels in April and surveyors reporting some softening in new buyer enquiries.ROBERT GARDNER, CHIEF ECONOMIST, NATIONWIDE
Meanwhile, Zoopla advised readers that now is the time to sell, as they reported that house prices have risen just 0.1% in May, and 8.4% across the year – down from 9.2% in April.
The property website also warned that, whilst demand for properties still remains strong at 40% above the five-year average, the demand is beginning to decline month on month.
Buyer demand is still strong in the housing market, but signals are emerging that the impetus may be easing, so those who want to make a move should investigate their options sooner rather than later.GRÁINNE GILMORE, HEAD OF RESEARCH, ZOOPLA
CLC reports material inflation exceeding 20%
The latest Product Availability Statement was published by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) this week, revealing that the average inflation for products and materials has reached 23% this year, and availability of some materials is improving.
The most significant price rises have been experienced in energy-intensive materials, such as insulation, concrete, cement and steel – and the CLC warned that inflation is expected to rise over the rest of the year.
The CLC also forecast that recruitment, retention and wage inflation will replace product availability as the industry’s biggest concern in 2023.
Housing Minister pledges to boost housebuilding, as building safety law comes into force
Stuart Andrew has pledged to boost housebuilding, but warned against too much reliance on the Government’s target of 300,000 new homes a year.
Speaking at the Chartered Institute of Housing annual conference in Manchester, the Housing Minister stated that “numbers will climb back up in the coming months and years” from the 216,000 net additions to housing stock in 2020/21.
I should stress that our view is that, when it comes to housing, far too much attention is paid to numbers…we will not get to where we need to be on housing without big ideas, big thinking and big policies to match them.STUART ANDREW, HOUSING MINISTER
Meanwhile, the Building Safety Act 2022 came into force this week, five years after the Grenfell tragedy.
The new legislation introduces protection for leaseholders from the cost of replacing flammable cladding systems, instead passing responsibility to building owners and those responsible for installing the materials.