Housing market becoming increasingly localised, Rightmove

Winners in current housing market include home-owners in London and the south, the cash-rich and buy-to-let investors.

The average price of a property coming to market in September is £234,858, which is virtually the same as new sellers’ prices in September 2007 despite changing market conditions, data from Rightmove’s latest house price index has revealed.

However, data published by the firm highlight that today’s market conditions are patchy, localised and vary markedly for the different buyer and seller segments and within these are groups of winners and losers.

Rightmove listed the winners as being home-owners in London and the south, the cash-rich and buy-to-let investors.

New seller prices in London have outperformed every other region over the last five years, up by 18.7 per cent, while the remaining territories in the south are all in positive territory.

Cash-rich potential buyers or equity-rich home-owners are also benefiting as they are able to put down the more substantial deposits required by lenders to buy or trade up.

Buy-to-let investors who took advantage of falls in capital values are now enjoying attractive returns, compounded by the benefits of rising rents and comparatively low mortgage repayments.

The losers include trapped renters, mortgage “prisoners”, down-traders and the cash-strapped north, according to Rightmove.

The index revealed that over half of existing renters state they would like to buy but cannot afford to. This demand for rented property is pushing rates up, so tenants lose by not being able to get onto the housing ladder and end up paying more for living where they do not wish to be.

People in negative equity cannot fund their next move and with lenders demanding higher deposits, those affected are unable to escape from their restrictive mortgage predicament, Rightmove added.

Miles Shipside, housing market analyst at Rightmove, said: “The challenges for the market are considerable in many parts of the country, but they are even greater in the North with its residents having not recently benefitted from the same equity gains of their southern counterparts”

“Many of the equity-blessed are situated in the south, and their markets are closest to returning to pre-credit-crunch supply.

“The number of sellers willing or able to come to market in London, the south east, East Anglia and the south west are the highest of all regions in England, recovering to within 14 per cent to 20 per cent of 2007 levels. New seller numbers in other regions are down by an average of 26 per cent.”

Article courtesy of Financial Times

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