Brian Murphy, Head of Lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), comments:
“The expectation was that pre-election jitters would put a dampener on the housing market, yet recent house price indices suggest growth has remained consistently positive. Figures from the Land Registry demonstrate 5.3% annual house price growth in March, while Nationwide puts this at 5.2% for April. It’s not yet clear what the impact of a new government will be, but there is certainly plenty of resilience in the market at the moment.
“Consumer demand is high, bolstered by stamp duty changes and record low mortgage rates. Lenders have a hearty appetite for business, and it’s generally expected that housing activity will remain strong as the year progresses. It’s too soon to speculate exactly what policies will be in place following May’s polling date, but recent announcements suggest there could be further plans that work in potential buyers’ favour.
“Strong house price growth is indicative of a healthy market, but annual growth has moderated in comparison to last year, which will be welcomed by those with smaller budgets. However, the imbalance between housing supply and demand continues to be a cause for concern, and could push house prices to levels that leave low-income borrowers locked out of the property market.”