Housing & mortgage round up_istockphotoIt’s been a pretty slow week for mortgage and housing news, saved at the last minute by the Nationwide and Land Registry releasing their latest house price data.

Read on to discover whether house prices are still climbing and which region of the UK has seen a 53% drop over the past five years.

House prices rise at fastest rate for three years

The latest figures from the Nationwide, show a rise in house prices of 0.3% in June, with the annual rate of growth now standing at 1.9%, the highest rate since September 2010.

According to the UK’s largest building society, the average house in the UK is now worth £168,941.

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Responding to the figures Robert Gardener, Chief Economist at the Nationwide, said: “A number of factors are likely to be contributing to the recent acceleration. Demand for homes has been supported by further modest gains in employment, as well as an improvement in the availability and a reduction in the cost of credit, partly as a result of policy measures, such as the Funding for Lending Scheme. Signs of a modest improvement in wider economic conditions may also be playing a role in boosting buyer sentiment.” (Source: Nationwide)

Perhaps not, house prices static in May

The latest house price figures from the Land Registry, show house prices remained almost static in May, rising by just 0.1%.

The other two major house price surveys, from the Halifax and Nationwide, had previously both shown a rise of 0.4% in May.

According to the Land Registry, which is generally regarded as the most comprehensive house price survey, house prices rose by 0.5% over the past 12 months, taking the value of the average home in England and Wales to £161,969.

Whilst the small increase in prices may disappoint many, there was good news on repossessions. According to the Land Registry, the number of homes being repossessed by mortgage lenders in March, the latest period for which figures are available, dropped by 27%.

Four people sign up for The Green Deal

A government scheme, designed to encourage people to make their home more energy efficient, has fallen flat, with just four people signing up since the launch six months ago.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has revealed that of the 38,259 Green Deal assessments undertaken, just 241 households have said they are likely to proceed, but only four have actually signed up.

The Green Deal scheme involves homeowners taking a loan to fund improvements, but only five finance providers initially signed up to the scheme. However, the government says up to 50 finance companies will ultimately get involved, increasing choice and hopefully encouraging more consumers to sign up.

Home movers struggle with high fees and negative equity

New research has shown it isn’t just first time buyers struggling with the housing ladder.

According to research from the Post Office, 28% of would-be home owners are struggling to move home due to negative equity or stagnant house prices.

The research also shows one in three homeowners is unable to move up the housing ladder, due to the costs involved in buying and selling a house.

According to the Post Office the average cost of moving home, including legal fees and stamp duty, is £7,279; with this rising by approximately £5,000 for homebuyers in London.

John Willcock, Head of Mortgages at Post Office, said: “We are often reminded of first-time buyers’ struggle to get onto the property ladder. However, it’s clear that second-time buyers are finding it difficult too. Stagnant or decreasing property prices in many areas of the country, the high costs involved with moving and lack of available properties on the market have meant too many people are unable to move up the property ladder.”

“Relying on the bank of mum and dad is not just the preserve of first-time buyers – second-time buyers are also looking to their parents to fund the move up the ladder. In the years before the financial crisis it was almost guaranteed your property would go up in value enough to move into a second, larger home, but many are finding that their homes just aren’t increasing enough.” (Source: Post Office)

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Our mortgage adviser, Linda Wood , is here to help you. If you would like advice on your options or you are affected by any of the stories in this week’s housing round up please call Linda today on 0115 933 8433, alternatively enquire online or email linda.wood@investmentsense.co.uk

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