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National Mortgage Index December 2019

Market steady in lead up to General Election

Brian Murphy, head of lending for Mortgage Advice Bureau comments:

"November saw the UK property market continue in the same direction of travel we’ve seen for most of 2019; transaction volumes were consistent with the same time in previous years, with buyers committed to their purchase, and remortgage levels increased slightly on the previous month.

"Whilst the majority of news headlines were dedicated to the upcoming General Election for most of the month, we observed that consumers were, for the most part, continuing with their plans regardless. This supports the view of many in the industry since 2016, which is that pent-up demand can only last for so long, and at some point the life circumstances which dictate that an individual or family needs to move home will, in many cases, outweigh any caution around the political climate.

"As a consequence, for the most part property values remained at their current levels with little movement on the average purchase price, although as has been the case for the past two years or so, some regions saw a little more movement than others, with upwards pressure on prices evident in the regions where stock numbers didn’t meet buyer demand levels. Areas including Yorkshire, the Midlands and Scotland all saw a busy period in November, consistent with their performance for the past two years or so.

"It was also encouraging to see the number of First Time Buyers entering the market remaining at consistent levels, supported by the good levels of low deposit mortgage products. As we observed in October, the increasing level of family supported products from a number of lenders has also assisted many who otherwise may have struggled to get on the property ladder, and we’d suggest that as consumer awareness and understanding of these sorts of mortgages increases, so will their popularity.

"Buy To Let borrowing remained stable in November, with many landlords taking advantage of competitive specialist products to remortgaging existing portfolios or, in some areas, purchase additional investment units. This would perhaps suggest that, despite taxation and legislations changes for landlords over the past few years, and any uncertainty in the lead up the General Election, many were confident in property as an attractive asset class.

"Looking at the underlying market fundamentals of low unemployment, consumer incomes remaining slightly ahead of inflation and low costs of borrowing, it’s easy to see why the UK property market has remained resilient over the past year. We would suggest that these market dynamics are very much reflected in our data for the past month, leading us to conclude that whilst there were no dramatic movements in the penultimate month of 2019, ‘no news is good news’."

Click here to read the full NMI report. 

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