The latest Zoopla Cities Index report shows house price inflation running at +1.8%. The fastest growth has been recorded in the most affordable cities, Liverpool (+5%) and Belfast (4.6%).
Residential values continue to fall in London and Cambridge while the rate of growth weakens across southern England. In four of the most expensive cities, the income to buy for a first time buyer has fallen 5% in the last 2 years.
These trends are a result of evolving affordability dynamics and the impact of successive tax changes since 2015. Buying power and demand for housing has diminished, hitting high priced cities more than others.
The annual rate of house price inflation in London equates to -0.4%
Liverpool, Belfast and Nottingham have the fastest house price growth
London, Cambridge and Aberdeen are the cities with the slowest growth
The graph above shows the gross household income required by a first-time buyer to buy a typical city home. The annual income required to buy has increased over the last 3 years by £4,500, or 9% to £54,400.
The income to buy ranges widely across cities, from a low of £26,000 in lower value cities such as Liverpool and Glasgow, to a high of £84,000 in London. Low mortgage rates and and new mortgage regulations are capping buying power and reinforcing house price falls in the highest value markets.
Valuing properties aggressively to gain instructions is a well-known tactic used by many estate agents and is a hotly debated topic within the industry, but does it work?
As the industry professionalises, what should estate and letting agents be doing to prepare for minimum qualification requirements?
In the last eight years, the growth of first time buyers has outpaced all other buying groups and in 2018 they became the largest buyer group in the UK.