The housing market has suffered in the past few years, and the knock-on effects have been felt by the private rented sector as well as the British public. More and more people are looking to rent instead of buy due to the fact that they now cannot afford to get on the housing ladder, which means that landlords have to deal with an increased demand for properties. Furthermore, landlords are now under more pressure to keep their properties at certain standards, but at the same time are more likely to lose out on money due to the higher likelihood of rent arrears, so would have to rely on their landlord insurance.
It’s good news for all then that Halifax has announced today that the housing market improved last month and that house prices increased across the UK by an average of 1.9%. According to Halifax, this is the first time that the house prices have risen since October 2010, and the price of an average home is now valued at £162,932. Halifax’s housing economist Martin Ellis has attributed the increase in housing prices due to the Bank of England’s Funding for Lending scheme as well as mortgage approvals rising in recent months.
However, he has warned that this does not mean that the housing market will continue to improve, but more than likely remain stable throughout the upcoming year. Discussing the economy and its relationship to the housing market, Mr Ellis said: “The outlook for the UK economy and house prices is more unclear than usual. Subdued economic growth and pressures on household finances are expected to constrain housing demand. Overall, we expect continuing broad stability in house prices nationally in 2013.”
Meanwhile, Jonathan Hopper, managing director of the property search consultants Garrington has a more pessimistic view of the housing market for this year and said: “While transaction levels in 2012 were the highest for five years, they are still a shadow of their pre-cash levels, which can make the housing data volatile.” This means that those thinking of getting on the housing market may still struggle in the upcoming months, and landlords should make sure they do as much research as possible before adding more properties to their portfolios.