Brian Murphy, Head of Lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), comments:
“As house prices continue to rise and an increase in the base rate looms on the horizon, it appears many potential buyers are losing their nerve, with recent research* showing only 5% of people believe the coming year is a good time to buy a house. However, today’s Land Registry data suggests consumers should think twice before shying away from the property market, as average house prices stayed stable in June and remain £10,000 lower than their peak in November 2007, suggesting homes are more affordable across much of the country than some might think.
“While interest rates are bound to rise in the future, the Bank of England has repeatedly confirmed its commitment to making very gradual and cautious increases to the base rate. Households are being given plenty of warning to consider how to absorb the impact on monthly mortgage repayments and the fact that repossession sales have significantly dropped is a sign of progress in the right direction.
“Financial assistance for first-time buyers struggling to pull together a deposit has also seldom been higher, with lenders increasingly offering new Help to Buy mortgages or extending their criteria to allow access to the property ladder with just a 5% deposit. Rather than being put off by rising house prices, consumers should make the most of current low rates and increased financial assistance by locking in to a favourable deal sooner rather than later.”