As rehearsed many times, I’ve been a house price doom-monger for many a month. As with those who forever forecast a stock market crash, it was inevitable that I would eventually be right. Stopped clock syndrome and all that. Falls in average house prices are, of course, deceiving, because my house is not average, and neither, I’m sure is yours; and they only tend to happen every 10 or 15 years. But they do happen, and when they do, it’s very bad news for some, and perhaps better news for others, as in theory they become more affordable for first-time buyers, those Gen Zs trying to get on the housing ladder. The difficult part is that it’s now, with much stricter tests on income and abilities to repay, not so easy to get a mortgage. The whole reason this is happening is that mortgages are more expensive; so, in the short-term, potentially lose-lose, I’m afraid.
OK, hands up, I’ve consistently said house prices can’t go up, certainly at this rate, forever. And I’ve been consistently wrong. So far. I’ve spoken to two clients this week, one buying, one selling, who’ve had to pay or been paid over the asking price.