House prices rise in July post Brexit

Another Project Fear forecast bites the dust. According to the Nationwide Index house prices rose 0.5% in July and 5.2% for the year, a slightly faster rate than pre Brexit!

All those looking for a bargain home in the wake of the vote, as promised by some  on the Remain side, have  been disappointed.

Would any any of the doom mongers writing in to this  site care to explain?


  1. Jerry
    July 28, 2016

    Many would not call that good news, even more first time buyers priced out of the market, even more families having to make do with a now over crowded house, rather than being able to realistically extend their mortgage and thus move to a larger home.

    1. David
      July 29, 2016

      I agree, I thought that it was a good reason to vote leave. Oh well I guess my son will never our home, we will just get rid of the lodger when he is an adult.

    2. acorn
      July 29, 2016

      Don’t forget “last time buyers” Jerry. Last week, I was apprised by some local Estate Agents, of an increasingly common situation. A family bought a house near Kempton Park Racecourse, back in the eighties. It was bought with a £360 k interest only mortgage.

      The mortgage finishes early next year; there is insufficient capital available within the family to pay off the mortgage, the house has to be sold for an advised price of circa £850 k. The funds left from the sale wish to be spent on a slightly smaller house of similar quality and hopefully in a similar class of neighbourhood.

      The family is now looking some 75 miles down the M3 / A303 from London and haven’t yet found what they are looking for with the cash they have left.

      1. Jerry
        July 29, 2016

        @acorn; I here what you say, and agree to a point, but there will be some with even less sympathy (£360K was one hell of a loan back in the 1980s, basically a gamble that appears not to have come off) – and remember that people can always downsize once on the housing ladder, the real victims are those trying to get a foot resting on the first rung never mind actually standing on it.

        Oh and no I don’t suspect that they will find what they are looking for in their price bracket 75 miles S/SW from London!

      2. glen irvine
        July 30, 2016

        How irresponsible were these buyers. Did they not realise that the loan would have to be repaid and yet they have still accumulated massive equity so surely no one can feel sorry for them in this situation.

        1. acorn
          July 31, 2016

          glen; jerry.
          The interest only mortgage of £360 k, I questioned with one of the agents, as to the size of it in the eighties time period. She said, she would bet on it containing some equity release in the nineties early noughties.

  2. McBryde
    July 28, 2016

    I suppose it’s a bargain for foreign buyers where the pound is now cheaper….

    1. StevenL
      July 29, 2016

      At the height of the last boom – 2007 – you got $2 for every £1. It’s interesting to compare historical house prices in USD. It sheds light on how our economy ‘works’.

  3. Des
    July 28, 2016

    I think therefore I am…

    That is my best explanation for their perception of the reality as they see it or wish it to be.
    It is called Project Fear (an emotion) after all – not project evidence.

  4. Lifelogic
    July 28, 2016

    This despite Osborne’s absurd levels of stamp duty on higher priced properties (+ the extra 3% for on top for many and 28% un-indexed CGT for many too), a still fairly dysfunctional and badly regulated mortgage lending market and the absurd taxation of non profits for many landlords.

  5. Jerry
    July 28, 2016

    Off topic John, if the EDF board vote to approve the Hinkley Point deal is that it, contracts signed, or is their still time for the government to back away from this economic illiteracy (as far as UK utility customers are concerned) – it’s the economics/politics of the mad-house, at a stroke of the pen inflationary pressures will increase!

    Reply Yes the govt can and will think further, given its wish to have more affordable energy

    1. stred
      July 29, 2016

      Listening to the MSM coverage on Hinkley this morning, there are two arguments. The pro EDF side say that it is important to go ahead, as the UK desperately needs non carbon baseload power and the jobs that go with it. Against, they pick green spokesmen who say nuclear is an outdated technology and we should be building more wind, solar, tidal and biomass.

      No-one mentions the other nuclear designs which are approved by other countries and will produce cheaper elecricity while the construction times will be shorter. While no-one asks the greens about the huge expansion of intermittent offshore wind we are already planning, the solar parks and tidal lagoons which produce even more expensive and intermittent power, or the need for an equivalent back up which will have to be swithed on and off, making this uneconomical too. Do the MSM have no contacts with engineers who understand the problem?

      1. Lifelogic
        July 29, 2016

        Indeed and did you see the sort of “experts” the BBC invited on to radio 4 to discuss the Hinkley Point C project. George Monbiot was one on them! The other was even worse!

        It is the wrong project at the wrong time and I am broadly in favour of nuclear power.

  6. Mark Watson
    July 28, 2016

    Well John is too early to say as some of these prices would have been agreed pre-brexit, but I can’t see any big slowdown in house price increases (unfortunately) due to supply-demand fundamentals.
    I run a small garden design and landscaping business and haven’t noticed any slowdown in activity. I’d be astonished if there was a recession.

  7. Lindsay McDougall
    July 28, 2016

    Would you care to explain why a crash in house prices would be a bad thing?

    Reply I am not offering a view on the desirability of current prices, but tackling the prediction that a Brexit vote would drive them down

    1. JoeSoap
      July 29, 2016

      Reply to reply
      Clearly a Brexit vote would only drive them down if that led to a decrease in demand (higher pound higher interest rates or lower immigration) or increase in supply (planning liberation). None of these has happened.

    2. Bob
      July 29, 2016

      George Osborne promised that house prices would fall if we voted for Brexit.
      Obviously, with Mark Carney’s forward guidance on interest rates, everyone now wants to move their money away from cash and into stocks & real estate.

      At the same time REITs are suffering from liquidity issues, you couldn’t make it up.
      Maybe Mr Hammond could step and buy some with some of his QE money, I’m pretty sure it would prove to be a better investment than buying insolvent banks.

  8. ian
    July 28, 2016

    Like i have always said, housing price will keep going up what ever happens, till 2018 2019, on printing more money and cutting interest rates, with the government now going on borrowing binge, i cannot see oversea people stop coming because they are going on a infrastructure building boom will be needing a lot more workers.

  9. alan jutson
    July 28, 2016

    Not so sure house prices rising above the general rate of inflation is a good thing for anybody really !

    Just makes the next one less affordable when moving up.

    Transaction costs limit those who want to downsize.

    End result is a less flexible working population, who are in ever growing debt.

    Just wait until interest rates rise to there historic normal levels, then we will have hundreds of thousands homeless people.

    1. Bob
      July 29, 2016

      For sure we need a review of the stamp duty charges which were inherited from the disastrous Gordon Brown, and which Mr Osborne was too timid to address properly.

      If you want to get the markets moving, you will have to release the brakes.

  10. ian wragg
    July 28, 2016

    Of course house prices will continue to rise. increase demand by a quarter of a million each year and only build half that and you have price increases.
    the fact that Gideons whole growth strategy was down too doubling the workforce every few years there’s no wonder prices are high.
    A glimmer of hope is in London that due to his moronic stamp duty regime prices are falling slightly.

    1. Lifelogic
      July 29, 2016

      His stamp duty regime and landlord interest taxation rules are indeed totally Moronic and very damaging but then so were nearly all of Osborne’s regime – attacking non dom, taxing sugar, tax rates above the Laffer point, endless tax complexity, GAAR …….

  11. Antisthenes
    July 28, 2016

    So far doom laden forecasts of Brexit apart from the currency markets are not being proven to be true. Predictions are known to be notoriously inaccurate especially when they are conjured up from dodgy information and so it has proved.

    The weak pound is worrying though. It will increase our inflation and we will no doubt be selling more to the EU for the foreseeable future. They will not like us becoming more competitive which will be enhanced by us not having to implement all their red tape when we leave. The EU is all about protectionism and exploiting us so they will do everything they can to disadvantage us.

    1. Mark Watson
      July 29, 2016

      The IMF said yesterday that they think the pound is still too strong.

  12. ian
    July 28, 2016

    I think workers from portugal, spain and India mostly living on site with a headline hourly rate of 15 ph but when they take out accommodation costs and travel costs the rate will work out at 6 pounds a hour with no tax to pay.

    Most of the workers we have are trained at uni to sit behind a desk and when crossrail 1 is done they go straight on to crossrail 2, then they are still on railway station up grades, 25,000 workers for hinkley on it own and that being built in the middle of nowhere, so there will not be accommodation locally to deal with that, so most of the workers will be living in cabins on site, ideal for oversea workers.

    Billion of pounds will be going to companies but i do not think you will see lot tax from them, they will it all workout before they start.

    Most of the steel,bricks and that will come from overseas because ours run down and will not able to cope with the demand.
    like i say should be a good laugh specially when it come to picking up the bill, the new labour leader look quit insignificant now with his plans.

  13. hefner
    July 28, 2016

    Just a methodological point: Robert Gardner, NW’s Chief Executive, actually said:
    “… This is the first month’s data following the EU referendum. However it is important to note that, in constructing the index, we use data at the mortgage offer stage – this means any impact from the vote may not be fully evident in July’s figure as there is a short lag between a buyer making the decision to purchase a property and applying for a mortgage”.
    The whole document is well worth reading, as there are also comments about the purchase of second home property to beat the stamp duty increase.

    Isn’t it a pain for politicians that so much information is now available on various websites to be seen by anybody curious enough to check it by themselves and not have to believe what any crowing politician might be saying?

    Reply Yes I read the report. People could have pulled out post vote if things had changed for the worse!

    1. hefner
      July 29, 2016

      “People could have pulled out …” People in the BTL business, certainly, maybe not the young couples having planned savings over several years and looked at mortgage lenders over several months and finally taken a decision to proceed. Not everybody has the luxury to consider a house as an “investment opportunity”.

      1. a-tracy
        July 29, 2016

        BUT that’s a good thing surely hefner that our own citizens are still buying property and foreign investors buying up our apartments etc. to leave empty are not going to be doing so?

  14. Lifelogic
    July 28, 2016

    Still largely doom and gloom from the remain biased BBC, still trying to claim they were right all along. If there is any good news they often put it down to perhaps we will not get out after all. STILL TREATING us to lots of Nick Clegg and his wife too for their words of “wisdom”.

    Think how much more optimism there could be when/if we get a sensible tax regime, cheap energy and cancel HS2 and Hinckley Point.

  15. David Lister
    July 28, 2016

    Hi John,

    I’m afraid I can’t claim to be a doom-monger, but I am interested in facts.

    The report itself may help explain why prices are unchanged:

    In the near term, increased economic uncertainty may lead to weaker demand for homes. Leading indicators are consistent with softening ahead. Household confidence fell sharply in the wake of the referendum result, especially attitudes towards making major purchases, which in the past has correlated with mortgage activity, though less closely in recent years (see chart below).

    Even if there is a fall back in demand as a result of economic uncertainty, the impact on house prices is not certain, as potential sellers may also hold off from placing their properties on the market. The stock of homes on estate agents’ books is already close to its lowest levels for thirty years, and surveyors have reported a decline in new instructions to sell alongside a fall in buyer enquiries (see chart on next page). Moreover, housebuilders may react to
    the uncertainty by delaying construction, even though home building is already failing to keep up with the natural increase in the population. ”

    Hence, it’s not the price that is a first measure of the health of the market as this merely relects the market value determined by the supply/demand balance which won’t change for some time.

    What will be most important is the number of transactions as this will be an indicator to people’s confdience in their employment, future prosperity, and health of the wider market. I would sugegest you keep an eye on this measure in the next couple of months.

  16. acorn
    July 28, 2016

    Fantastic JR, my five property funds, are recovering after Osborne put them in stasis. Naturally, the funds have to keep the Gross Rental Yield, matching the latest capital value. You will be aware that assets are only worth what they can earn; ask any pension fund.

    Unfortunately, the rents will have to go up to keep a UK broad average of 18 to 1 price to gross rent ratio. Sadly, that means the little people, will be spending more on rent and spending less on goods and services from the rest of the private sector. Plus, they will need a bigger mortgage to be a first time buyer; and, they will be the first to get wiped out when interest rates go up.

    Sounds like a normal Conservative Plan.

    1. Jack
      July 29, 2016

      Maybe JR will gain a good understanding of MMT, and the fact that more spending can actually cause lower inflation. For example, if the government invested in one million homes over one year, you could argue that it would have the net effect of bringing down prices.

      The real resources are there, and waiting, even more so in a world short of demand. We have surpluses of almost everything, commodity prices are low. The only thing holding us back from prosperity which we cannot even imagine, is our misunderstanding of how the monetary system really works – and what its purpose truly is.

  17. ian
    July 28, 2016

    USA home ownership down to 1965 level, no wonder they want to sell housing association houses hear because yours is already at 1980s level and falling.

    Still i suppose it good way to make the figures look good before they hit USA levels.

  18. stred
    July 28, 2016

    Despite a possible slowing in population growth, housebuilding figures are unlikely to be more than 140k pa, unless we start building on the countryside. In most parts of the UK, except London and parts near London or desirable areas of the UK, real affordability has not changed much. In London and near areas prices are ludicrous. Osborne taxed expensive London housing and did his best to wreck the BTLmarket before he was sacked.

    Normally, the house price bubbles have collapsed first in London, then spread out. The collapse is amplified by surveyors who, having agreed mortgage values at ludicrous levels and forgotten history, suddenly remember and panic, avoiding possible claims for wrong valuation. The panic then spreads over the rest of the country, though not related to reality.

    The truth is that it is impossible to forecast, as there are too many variables. If I were over borrowed, I would sell now to a safe level. BTL landlords especially, given the hostile government attitude and even worse in prospect.

    1. Anonymous
      July 29, 2016

      It is quite conceivable that house prices will stay up relative to our currency but not to others.

  19. Mike Stallard
    July 28, 2016

    I am a proud Brexiteer.
    If we get the negotiations wrong – and at the moment there doesn’t seem to be the safety net of either the EEA or EFTA, believe me, house prices will fall through the floor as the economy tanks in a way that even Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne could not have imagined. The appointment of M. Barnier as EU negotiator bodes evil.

    1. REPay
      July 28, 2016

      The main worry is what will happen to London as a Financial Centre…If we do a “hard exit” what might M. Barnier (all French politicians tend to be corporatist and not free market oriented) do to shaft London? A number of previous initiatives such as the Investment Services Directive were devised with the aim of allowing people to trade remotely into other markets in the expectation that big banks would stay home. Ironically they centralized in London! Getting business out of London and back to Frankfurt or Paris may be a key aim…I can’t work out how but perhaps others here can. (If business leaves London it may well leave the EU altogether.)

    2. Denis Cooper
      July 29, 2016

      The Times reports that May wants a bespoke arrangement, and I think that is the correct approach. There was a time when the EEA did not exist, it was invented, and I doubt that all the scope for devising new arrangements is exhausted.

  20. stred
    July 28, 2016

    Thought you might like this. Rolls Royce shares up. They will produce the engines for Trident and have a new aircraft engine which will be suitable for smaller aircraft than the big Airbus, where they produce all the engines. We also make the wings. Rolls also make the controls for the Finnish consortium building their nukes, and the one using the Russian VVER reactor and producing electricity at about half the one chosen for Hinkley, which will be built in less time.

    While Ford is again thinking of the future of their engine factories here, despite the £ being better value. I wonder whether they are regretting moving the Transit to Turkey.

  21. Iain Gill
    July 28, 2016

    I see the government is still handing out European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) with expiry date 5 years in the future, so I will still be able to get the UK government to fund my healthcare in the rest of the EU long after we have left the EU… which is good cos their track record of paying for my families care here in the UK is very hit and miss.

    I notice children moving from one part of the country to another in the last few months are unlikely to be allocated a new school until weeks AFTER the September term starts. Any pretence at choice, or being able to appeal the allocation, a complete nonsense as by then parents will be desperate to see their kids in any school. Parents having to guess which uniform to buy, or have to buy at short notice after everyone else has already bought theirs. This in a land which has had years of Conservative government absolutely no buying power in the relationship with schools, take it or leave it in the best traditions of the public sector. If I keep the kids off school they want to prosecute but they think its fine to be allocating schools weeks after schools restart in September leaving kids out of school for weeks? Who is going to prosecute these madarins?

    As for choice of GP? er there isn’t any is there? you see we are all to bow below the emperor NHS and all it deems fit to ration. Politicians pretence that patients have any choice is easily manipulated away by the mandarins of the NHS and their cosy workers.

    Don’t you just love the UK.

    1. JJE
      July 29, 2016

      My daughter phoned her GP in West London on Tuesday for an urgent appointment. The earliest available was August 17th. Emergency appointments are only available if you call at 9.00 or 1.00. She was too late to be an emergency as she called at 1.30. They have two GPs out of six positions.
      She had to spend three hours waiting to be seen in a walk-in centre.

  22. Frank salmon
    July 28, 2016

    If I was working for the BBC I’d be able to claim that you are looking at the wrong month. I’d be able to point out that the growth is down to something external and nothing to do with Brexit. I’d point out that the recent growth in the FT250 didn’t happen because April was the big month and therefore an error and it should be stripped out, just as should Brexit votes on the referendum from old baby boomers like me. I’d point out that we are doomed unless we pay the equivalent of half our annual GDP OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS to stay a member of a club that stifles us, abuses our goodwill, sends us more immigrants than we can cope with, imposes mindless and conflicting laws upon us, is hellbent on increasing our contributions, wants total control of our financial sector (about the only thing we do well), and is happy with its trade surplus of £90 billion.
    Yes, I’d put the record straight alright to those ignorant ‘leave’ b——ds

  23. mike Wilson
    July 28, 2016

    I would not read too much into one month’s figures from one lender.

  24. Kevin
    July 28, 2016

    Perhaps ITV would care to comment.

    Apparently, they have just finished broadcasting a programme on the UK housing market which, according to the TV guide, asked the following question:
    “After the vote for Brexit, are property prices about to plunge, and what are the implications?”.

  25. ian
    July 28, 2016

    Bernie in the USA election go back to being a independent as he leave the democratic party, limps back home to cash in on another two years in the senate and what ever else he got from the party for his support.

  26. Greg
    July 28, 2016

    I hope you will be as prompt to publish the figures in coming months, whether they continue up or down. The nationwide themselves state this is a slightly lagging indicator.

    But why are the pro Brexiteers so keen to publish indicators immediately? There is no change to our status at this point. We are still in EU. The costs are long term from frictional effects of trade and labour issues, and reduced political clout. It will be a long slow thing to pan out.

    Any likely drop in GDP is just bad luck on top of that.

  27. ian
    July 28, 2016

    Hinkley on hold again till the budget

  28. Jon
    July 28, 2016

    Unlikely that Brexit will have had much of an impact on house price indices yet – the Nationwide index is based on mortgage approvals so this month’s house price inflation figures will be based on offers made before the referendum vote.

  29. James Munroe
    July 28, 2016

    Continued low mortgage rates, plus the latent UK population explosion, will continue to drive demand and lead to ever higher house prices. It won’t “smash the house price doom-mongers back on their heels”…because they will just find another area to nit-pick, and falsely try to blame Brexit.

    1. Ed Mahony
      July 29, 2016

      ‘because they will just find another area to nit-pick, and falsely try to blame Brexit’ – but nothing was going (relatively) wrong before the Referendum. Cameron and Osborne had done a great job (not perfect) in reducing debt and getting the economy back on track after one of the worse recessions in 50 years. Think back a few years, and they were extremely shaky times. Cameron’s biggest mistake was to hold a referendum for purely party-political reasons (to try and put the euroskpetics back in their box). He didn’t imagine the Tories would get the majority they did, so having to go-ahead with the referendum. Nor did he expect the Brexiteers to win when, of course, they did win. Nor do i think many/most Brexiteers thought they were going to win either. Hence why no-one had a plan post Brexit. And no the main concern is that there’s no plan how to proceed. It’s madness to go into anything without a play, whether business or politics. And now Brexiteers aren’t feeling as confident as they did, and trying to preempt possible failure/fiasco by blaming Remainers ahead. This is wrong in every sense. And historians, with the luxury of time, will point this out.
      I hope things go well, but in the meantime, Brexiteers need to come up with a plan and stop trying to preempt failure by blaming Remainers.
      And as a strong and loyal Conservative Party supporter, I feel some/many in the Conservative Party have put personal ambition and/or ideology before party, country and pragmatic and sensible reality.

      Reply I have set out a plan on this site

    July 28, 2016

    So we know what general “area” of British enterprise Daesh will attack. It would be if we were to think Daesh could not cotton on to the fact that what goes up must come down even without use of a bomb. They would have to have been educated in British schools and passed every exam to launch a bomb attack on the property market.

  31. Kev
    July 28, 2016

    I wouldn’t hold my breath for house prices to rise. July figures are based on transactions from pre-Brexit.

    Even a .5% rise in house prices is still a fall as value of pound has dropped to its lowest levels in 30 years.

    Ok call us doom mongers, but at least tell us what we have achieved so far after Brexit?
    A remain PM and Chancellor and a lunatic Leave foreign minister to shut all Brexiters up in the event he can’t get a good deal.

  32. Ed Mahony
    July 29, 2016

    ‘Would any any of the doom mongers writing in to this site care to explain?’ – I think it’s unfair to call people ‘doom mongers’ when they’re just concerned about our economic future, post-Brexit, with Brexiteers not offering us any detailed road-map for the way ahead. It’s simply pragmatic, economic good sense to ask how you aim to achieve your goals (and with the benefit of time, this is how historians will judge things if Brexit goes wrong – it might go right, but that would simply be a fluke unless a detailed plan about the way forward is produced).

    More telling, perhaps, than the statistic you’ve produced about house prices, is this month’s GfK Consumer Confidence Index reporting that consumer confidence has suffered its biggest drop in 26 years after Brexit vote.

    (Also, I’d like to see a detailed plan about how immigration from inside the EU is going to be restricted, considering we’ve failed to restrict immigration from outside the EU – not forgetting that immigration was the main thing that most people voted for in leaving the EU).

    (Lastly, what I would hate to see is a whole bunch of unintended consequences resulting from Brexit – so far, majority of Brexiteers I come across are unwilling to offer detailed, rational arguments why these concerns are unfounded, all I seem get to from people is name-calling and/or ‘be more optimistic’ as if optimism alone is the way to peace + prosperity, and not forgetting that blind optimism is just as negative/dangerous as no optimism at all).

  33. Ed Mahony
    August 2, 2016

    On the point of house prices would also like to add: 75% of young people (18 to 24) voted remain. And these are the generation struggling to get on the housing market (and pay back tuition fees and the rest). Next time Brexiteers start name-calling Remainers as ‘doom-mongers’ remember the young (versus the older generation who have the wealth to take the risk over Brexit).
    (And not forgetting, it is the older generation who are going to need immigrants to look after them when they are old).
    (Lastly, don’t forget that a large majority of people with university degrees and/or still in further education voted Remain – if house prices remain relatively high and economy drops, there might well be an increase in a brain-drain of young, well-educated British people moving abroad to live).
    Whatever the case, Brexiteers need to stop insulting Remainers, and try and get them on board by producing detailed plans where Brexit is going and why it will work.

  34. Ed Mahony
    August 2, 2016

    (and i don’t mean people here on this site are insulting Remainers – although i don’t think calling people ‘doom-mongers’ is helpful – but elsewhere in the country and the media, and i accept that Remainers also insult Brexiteers and that needs to stop as well).

  35. ian
    August 3, 2016

    As the markets sits and wait for the BOE stimulus plan for tomorrow and that if they do it, to crush the pounds which the country could do without because world growth is at -9% at the moment, just up from -20% in 2008/2009 and still falling, one must ask why are you crushing the pounds at a time when nobody is buying goods and are still in the EU, surly at this point you would better off with a high pounds to import more goods at a cheaper price instead of high price goods for sale in the shops.
    I do not think they are do what is best for this country, they are doing what is best for everyone else.
    It all very well but it no good for people on or below the the average wage.
    So is what the new leader has said, that she is thinking of everyone not just the few.

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