Despite the car thermometer nudging 30 degrees on Friday, the Nationwide Chief Economist talks of “a cooling recovery in the UK housing market as accelerating inflation and government budget cuts weaken consumer confidence”. He does paint a gloomy picture with, looming in the background, the well documented crisis in the Eurozone.
Now, I do not wish to be accused of playing ostrich to the extraneous and significant factors effecting our housing market but I disagree with this outlook. I am, albeit cautiously, optimistic of a sustainable autumn market and to that end let’s look at some facts. It was interesting to see that only at the end of last week, it was reported by the Bank of England that mortgage approvals hit a 20 month high with more than £12.2 billion mortgages approved in August with loans up 6% on the previous month. And sellers? Figures released last month stated that the number of new property listings on primelocation.com have increased by 4% during the month of August compared to the same period last year.
This activity has resulted in the Nationwide reporting a 0.01% drop in prices (ie unchanged) during August 2011 which I for one regard as healthy and sustainable.