Mixed messages again, the average house price has risen by 0.3% in August 2011 compared to July 2011 but they are still over 2% down on the previous year. English builder Redrow has announced increased profits up to £25 million after making a pre-tax loss the previous year.
Certain areas of Central London and other cities are growing faster than ever with prices doubling in the last year or so, even Ireland has seen some stability returning to prices. Welsh prices are still down. Many cash in hand buyers are propping up prices with travel improvements quoted as one of the main reasons.
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In the week that Alistair Darling the ex Chancellor admitted that even the outgoing government couldn’t agree what to do about the financial mess that we are slowly dragging ourselves out from to the extent that the PM thought it would all blow over in a few months whereas everyone else saw a full on recession although in political lingo it was called a double dip back then. Or credit crunch.
Alistair Darling is obviously promoting his new book, the last pay-off ex politicians get, win, lose or draw. He also takes a swipe at
Sir Mervyn King, the governor of the the Bank of England governor saying he let the present government extend the crisis for their own ends. Of course thats cheap shot, imagine GW Bush blaming Omaba for the crisis over the pond! Anyway Labour devolved more powers to the BOE in the first place, so you cant blame them for using it!
From the book it seems like the last days of the Labour government were more like 1945 Berlin than a modern democracy. No communication between the top men while the country spiralled into chaos.
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Its official that its cheaper to buy than rent. Even for first time buyers the cost of renting is an average of £110 per month extra compared to the average mortgage.
With house prices falling for the third month in a row and the great rental sell off of the last few years the time is right to take the plunge. The low mortgage rate holding at 0.5% which combined with the fall in prices you could save around 40% on 2008 prices! With many buy to let properties still on the market the rental market is now what it once was in any case.
The Stamp Duty threshold rising from £125k to £250k has also helped getting people on the property ladder, more than any of the Government schemes which pumped billions into getting first time buyers to buy.
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The last month has seen a 0.3% rise in the average house price in the UK, and the market itself is described as slowly improving. The average price stands at £163,981.
The actual number or sales is the lowest since the low of 2 years ago, the share of first time buyers is well down however. Figures from estate agents point to a drop in the number of available properties underpinning a steady demand for properties.
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Prices are down arcoss the UK (down 1.3% in England, Scotland 2.5% and over 6% for Wales) and the best bet is that we wont see a big surge in prices during this year at least. The only area which seems to be bucking the trend is London which has seen demand and prices rise since the days of 2008 when they were heaviest hit.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders have added to the gloom with news that the number of new mortgage approvals are down 5% on the same time last year.
Buyers are still very tentitive, taking longer to complete deals and with more properties on the market, it seems the market may have turned the corner although thats not much solace to sellers who have to choose whether to stay put or take a hit. PricewaterhouseCoopers are predicting a 2.2% rise in prices across the board during 2012 so there is light at the end of the tunnel.
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