Nationwide Report that the August House Price Index was up 0.6% with an annual increase up to 5.6% from 5.2% in July.

You can read the full report below, but it seems there is a slight discrepancy with how these results have occurred. The activity reported by estate agents since June indicate a decrease in buyer activity, but there seems that there is a bigger drop in property supply, so resulting in price increases.

http://www.nationwide.co.uk/about/house-price-index/headlines

Robert Gardner is the Nationwide’s chief economist said “…. the pick up in price growth is somewhat at odds with signs that the housing market activity has slowed in recent months. New buyer enquiries have softened as a result of Brexit and extra taxation for second home owners.”

The outlook is uncertain and could be determined largely by the outlook for the labour market. The labour market does tend to lag behind changes in the economy, but unemployment is at a 10 year low. Also , retail sales showed renewed strength, up 6% in July.

Annual House Price Growth eases to 6.9%

The Halifax House Price Index is the longest running monthly house price series dating back to 1983. House prices in the 3 months to August 2016 were 0.7% higher than the 3 months to May 2016.

You can read the full report here

Martin Ellis is a chief economist at the Halifax, and made the following comments

“House price growth continued the trend if the last few months with a further moderation in both the annual and quarterly rates of increase. There are also signs of a softening in sales activity. This slowdown is consistent with forecasts in 2015. Increasing difficulties in purchasing  home with prices increasing more quickly than earnings will limit demand and curb future house price growth.”

Both articles make very interesting reading, and although the percentages are slightly different the story is generally the same.

So, what does it all mean if you are thinking of buying a property?

It is fair to say that since Brexit, there have been mixed messages and uncertainty. What we have noticed at the “coal face” is a slight softening in market activity, but its actually been a much more pleasant market to work in. Pre-Brexit, if we listed a nice house, we would have an Open Day where on average 12 buyers would turn up to view, and we would then receive offers from upto 6 interested parties. The vendor was obviously very happy, but it was a terribly difficult situation for both the interested buyers and us as agents. We can only sell a property once! So, having to disappoint so many people this year has been the most distressing element of our job for a number of years.

Post Brexit, we are still selling the same number of houses month on month. The difference is that we are having to use our sales and marketing skills more, and its now quite rare to receive more than one offer in the first few days of marketing. So, there are less disappointed buyers missing out.

Buyers, however, are still finding the process tough. Why? Because the level of properties currently on the market is still low and reducing further. There is very little choice, which is making a decision very difficult. Do we compromise and buy now? Or, wait to see if something better will come to the market next week?

We, as agents, feel that stock levels of available properties is not going to change much this year, and may not change in 2017 either. Property prices may not be increasing as fast as they were pre-Brexit, but they are certainly not dropping. If you are a buyer waiting for the market to drop, then I feel you will be sadly disappointed.

So, what does it all mean if you are thinking of selling a property?

There are buyers out there! They may not falling over themselves stampeding to view, but sales levels are still very good. Preparation is probably the most important element. We can advise on all the key points both before and after marketing commences. Its all about being prepared and proactive. If we get the price right and present the marketing of the property to its highest level, we are finding buyers quickly.

For useful tips click here

October is usually the last month where a sale can be agreed and still complete for Christmas. If you are thinking of moving selling quickly, or are having little success with another agent, we are happy to advise how a pre Christmas completion could happen.

To find out more, simply book a moving meeting and valuation with one of our senior property consultants by contacting us on

01954 710 700 or click here

Malcolm Thomas

Founder at Malcolms Estate Agents

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