Mortgage Advice Bureau comments on Land Registry market trends for May

Brian Murphy, Head of Lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), comments on the Land Registry’s housing market trend data for May:

“The latest Land Registry data again shows London house prices far ahead of the curve, with no other region across England and Wales even approaching double-digit growth. The fact that exactly half have recorded a monthly fall in the average house price shows that property values remain safely under control across much of the country.

“Prices appear stable across much of the Midlands and the North, which will give renewed hope to first time buyers that buying property is still a realistic ambition. Many of the sales using Help to Buy equity loans and mortgage guarantees have been focused in these regions, allowing better access to mortgage finance without pushing house prices further out of reach.

“London remains a unique case in need of special measures and Londoners will be the first to see the effect of moves by the Bank of England to ration high loan to income (LTI) mortgages – unless, of course, they are among the cash buyers, foreign owners and buy-to-let landlords who do not rely on mortgage finance but are still a major influence on rising prices.

“It is encouraging that the Bank is still willing to allow a limited supply of high LTI mortgages, which are needed in some circumstances and are safely covered by rigorous affordability checks. To balance the equation, we now need to remove the shackles from builders and developers so that housing supply can catch up.”