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.”