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Apr 2023

Cautious confidence returns to property market after mini-budget turmoil

Nationwide reports that people’s views of their own financial position over the next twelve months, and general economic conditions in the year ahead, have both improved markedly in recent months.

If inflation falls sharply in the second half of the year, as most analysts expect, this would likely further bolster sentiment, especially if labour market conditions remain strong. Nationwide’s latest housing data shows average house prices rose in April for the first time in seven months by 0.5% to £260,441 as the impact of last year’s mini budget on mortgage interest rates appears to be receding.

Recent Bank of England data suggests that housing market activity remained subdued in the opening months of 2023, with the number of mortgages approved for house purchase in February nearly 40% below the level prevailing a year ago, and around a third lower than pre-pandemic levels. However, in recent months industry data on mortgage applications point to signs of a pickup.

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