’Unexpected’ house price growth in January

Average house prices grew by 0.6% last month according to the latest Nationwide house price index, leading to an “unexpected pickup” in annual price growth.

The average property is now worth £211,756, with annual growth increasing from 2.6% in December to 3.2% in January.

Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, said the rise was “a little surprising”, particularly given mortgage approvals dropped to 61,000 in December, the lowest level in three years and that household finances remain squeezed.

High-LTV mortgage costs fall but choice still ‘patchy’

Mortgage rates at higher LTVs have improved marginally, but product choice continues to remains “patchy” according to new market research.

The differential between the mortgage rates charged at 75 per cent LTV and 95 per cent LTV narrowed slightly towards the year end – but borrowers are still paying around two-thirds more in mortgage costs each year at these higher LTV bands.

Strong FTB activity boosts 14% rise in October lending

The latest data and analysis from UK Finance has shown that mortgage lending was 14% higher in October 2017 than a year earlier - hitting £23.1bn.

According to their findings, strength in remortgage activity amongst homeowners, alongside stronger first-time buyer numbers, are likely to have been the drivers of strong lending activity.

Also revealed was that two-thirds of lending was carried out by High Street Banks, which translated to £15.3 billion.

Homeowners ‘sleepwalking into financial misery’

More than a quarter of mortgage holders do not know what interest rate they are paying, according to new research by the Homeowners Alliance.

The survey unveiled widespread ignorance of common mortgage terms, with more than half of homeowners admitting their knowledge of different products was ‘not good’.

In particular people had difficulty distinguishing between the Base Rate and short-term variable rates and tracker and discounted mortgages.

House prices up almost 5% year on year on Scotland, double rest of UK

Annual house price growth in Scotland is the highest in UK at 4.8%, more than double the 2.1% growth rate in England and Wales, the latest index shows.

Indeed, the market in Scotland continues to defy the slowdown elsewhere in Britain and prices grew for the seventh month in a row in August with a rise of 0.5%, taking the average price to £176,876.

The Your Move/Acadata index report points out that on an annual basis only the East of England, up 4.5% annually, comes close to growth seen in Scotland while prices in London are down 0.7% on an annualised basis.

First time buyers to get more help to get on the housing ladder in the UK

The Help to buy scheme in the UK aimed at helping first time buyers on the housing ladder is to be extended and a more pro-development planning environment introduced.

In the first major sign that policies outlined in the Government’s Housing White paper earlier this year will be followed through, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid appeared to confirm that housing is very much on the political agenda.

Scotland has strongest property market for almost a decade

Scotland is experiencing its strongest property market for almost a decade despite the general election, Brexit, higher taxes and a chronic lack of supply, according to a new analysis.

If the Scottish Government decides reconsider property tax rates then the residential market has the potential to rival the performance of other markets around the UK and attract greater inward investment, says the report form real estate firm Savills.

Stagnant housing market hits UK conveyancing activity

Activity in the UK conveyancing market dipped significantly in the second quarter of 2017 as a stagnant housing supply and restricted home moving took effect.

This pushed total conveyancing volumes down 14% to 210,964 from 245,738 in the first three months of the year, the fewest cases in a single quarter since the middle of 2013, according to the conveyancing market tracker report from Search Acumen.

Scotland homebuyer activity busiest in a decade

There were more homebuyers in Scotland in the second quarter of 2017 than any other quarter since 2007, UK Finance figures show.

Mortgage lending to homebuyers increased by a third (35%) in the second quarter of 2017 from the first by volume.

Carol Anderson, chair of the UK Finance Scotland Mortgage Committee, said: “First-time buyers have been a key driver of this, with two years of year-on-year growth.

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