Mortgage Advice Bureau comments on the January ONS House Price Index and February HMRC housing transactions

Brian Murphy, Head of Lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), comments on today’s data on ONS house prices and HMRC housing transactions:

“The slowest rate of annual house price growth since March last year will be a relief to anyone concerned that the property market had taken leave of its senses. Measures to boost mortgage affordability checks have helped to instil a sense of calm and mean the pace of growth in house prices is looking far more sensible than a year ago.

“Today’s HMRC data also suggests that activity in the property market is on the rise after a slower end to 2014. Since December’s Stamp Duty changes, UK property transactions have risen for two consecutive months and reached a five month high in February on a seasonally adjusted basis. Plenty of people are still intent on making a house purchase and those who need a mortgage to do so are increasingly leaning on brokers for advice.

“Product availability is at a post-financial crisis high* and mortgage lenders are continuing to use low rates as a way to attract new business. The combination of calmer house prices, 0% inflation, increasing product choices and low cost borrowing adds up to a brighter outlook for consumers in the housing market.”