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Is the UK Housing Easing? RICS House Prices +45

The UK housing market is regularly covered in the UK press, but there is a significant regional disparity. There has been considerable concern from analysts and the media that the sustained growth in UK house prices, primarily in London, are creating a property bubble.  The governments flagship Help-top-buy scheme, providing loan guarantees requiring only a 5% deposit have been criticised for being reckless, and potentially fuelling a UK subprime.

However the latest release from the RICS February House price balance eased to +45 from +52 in January. Buyer numbers last month rose at the slowest rate since March 2013, however this could have been affective by regional flooding. The release from RICS highlights, that though the growth in buyers might be gradually slowing, supply is still falling short. The London property market, has been a safe haven and trophy cabinet for the global elite during the financial crisis, driving double digit yearly increase. However at the bottom of the housing ladder, first time buyers continue to outstrip supply fuelling price increases. It seems that interest rates and government policies might be contributing to demand, but the supply of properties continues to undershoot demand.

The WSJ recently covered how the UK imports far more than it exports, with this gap being plugged by foreign investment in the UK property market

The full RICS UK residential Market Survey February 2014

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