Potential homeowners are finding less reason to consult the nearest mortgage calculator, as house prices rose 0.6% in January. Although uncertainty continues to cloud the housing market, the rise is a good sign for homeowners looking to sell. However, any price rise, no matter how small is always bad for people looking for their first home.
Despite the rise, calculated after a survey by the Halifax, prices are 1.8% lower than they were a year ago, which sends mixed messages to house hunters. However, long term unease over the dire economic situation in the Eurozone continues to leave homeowners, first-time buyers and estate agents unsure of what’s going to happen in the medium to long-term.
House prices continue to remain sky-high, regardless of how many marginal rises or falls have occurred in the past few years. The fact that the average cost of a house in the UK is presently just over £160,000 puts owning a home out of the reach of millions looking to get onto the property ladder. This is largely down to a lack of homes available for sale and perpetually low interest rates.
As has been the case, a north-south divide in rising house prices is rearing its head. In areas hardest hit by the economic downturn such as North East England, prices are more likely to fall due to a lack of jobs and prospects for future growth. Conversely, areas more immune to the downturn like South East England and Greater London could potentially see prices rise higher than the national average.
Whatever happens in the near future, people looking to buy their first home are finding that it’s worth looking at data relevant to their area. Those looking to take out a mortgage on any new property are being advised to take advantage of low interest rates while they stay low.