Buyers must remain vigilant



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So it seems the adrenaline in the property market is finally dissipating - well, according to the Nationwide's July House Price Index, it does anyway....

 So it seems the adrenaline in the property market is finally dissipating - well, according to the Nationwide's July House Price Index, it does anyway.

 
The latest Nationwide HPI said house prices rose by just 0.1 per cent in July, with the annual figure down to 10.6 per cent from 11.8 per cent in June.
 
But to confuse matters, and leave everyone none the wiser, the Halifax also published figures this week saying prices rose 1.4 per cent last month, and are up 10.2 per cent on the year.
 
In short, the UK's various house price indices have left us in the dark as they often do - contradiction and inconsistency are once again the norm.
 
My view? Well I'm with the Nationwide on this. My view is that there is a slowing down in price growth in certain areas of the UK, most notably the capital.
 
I also think this slowdown is for the better. The economy will arguably be in a better place when the property market has come down off its current highs.
 
While there is a seasonal contribution to the slowdown, the Mortgage Market Review, negligible wage growth and growing awareness of rate rises to come are playing a key role. Growing realism among prospective buyers is also having an effect.
 
This isn't, however, the beginning of a great reversal in the property market. There are, as the Nationwide observes, some strong underlying positives, namely growing consumer confidence, a strengthening jobs market and historically low mortgage rates.

All in all, the UK property market is a curious patchwork, with some areas looking dangerously overvalued, and others potentially undervalued.

The moral of the tale, as ever, is this: prospective buyers must remain vigilant and not risk exposure by paying over the odds.

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