Following the Nationwide House Price Index figures released yesterday, Murray Smith, Managing Director of SiteSales Property Group, believes the market is in a state of limbo and unlikely to change in the coming months
“It will be a long time until these statistics come with eye-catching headlines as the market is in a state of limbo. An over-emphasis on newbuild apartments in major cities will do little to move values one way or another but at least (for the good of buyers) we are now entering the price levelling era that I have been predicting. With market inertia these statistics tell us little other than the people that are buying are buying at prices that are little or no different from what they were a month or three ago with transaction numbers tumbling. In the ‘Acacia Avenues’ of the suburbs you cannot get a small builder for months in advance because every other house is having an attic conversion instead of the owners moving – deterred by the clunky SDLT system in place and the lack of availability.
“Nationwide is quite right to point out that the stamp duty easing of a week ago will do little to prices, although it is a very south-east-centric move on the government’s part. The stamp duty cash collection (although the sum has increased of late) should be derived from a fairer and more regional policy. Simply receiving more isn’t the biggest challenge and the sums are small compared to the harm that inertia does to the housing market and the services that are heavily reliant upon it being active. To Nationwide the next few months will provide an opportunity to cut and paste copy from the previous month’s comment as this picture is unlikely to change.”