FTB affordability at its best in 8 years

Property is more affordable than it has been in a decade, according to the latest house price index by online listings agent Rightmove.

Spring usually brings a traditional bounce in asking prices for property. But Rightmove’s analysis of national asking prices has revealed only a 0.2 percent average annual rise, the lowest recorded by them since 2009.

While that’s potentially gloomy news for sellers, it gives buyers a much greater impetus in the market. First-time buyers are particularly well-placed to take advantage of a slowdown in asking prices, with lenders boosting the number of fixed-rate deals and higher loan-to-value mortgages available to them, too.

According to Rightmove, the 0.2 percent annual rise, combined with an increase in average wage growth, means buyer affordability is at its best since 2011.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove’s housing market analyst, said: “Longer daylight hours and green shoots appearing in gardens herald the start of the traditionally more buoyant spring market.

“Seller’s subdued pricing is on the rise at the fastest rate in nearly eight years.

“Buyers are also being given the leg up by cheap mortgage rates, if they can meet lenders’ criteria and lay their hands on a large enough deposit.

“In theory, the scene would be set for an active spring if it were not for the uncertain political backdrop.

“As it is, the extent of that activity will depend on the degree of hesitancy among sellers to try to sell and be realistic on price and buyers overcoming short-term uncertainty and taking a medium-term view that this is a good time to buy.

“As always, those decisions will also be influenced by local market dynamics.”