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House Prices in Kent

Here we have the best breakdown of Kent house prices, with fresh information added every month.

Insight: The Housing Market August 2022

House prices remain high although there are numerous signs that interest in the market is dwindling. The Bank of England has produced a very negative report predicting a recession next year but many commentators argue that they have overstated the situation.

The headline stats and facts

⦁ Average selling price: £293,221 (a marginal fall 0.1% in July – the first decrease since June 2021 )
⦁ Interest rates: 1.75%
⦁ Inflation: 9.4%
⦁ Bank of England: Monetary Policy Committee forcasts 13% inflation for 2023
⦁ Property transactions: HMRC showed the number of home sales reduced by 7.9% since last month (seasonally adjusted).
⦁ RICS net balance score for new buying enquiries was -27% and also -9% for the previous month showing a marked turnaround from previous positive territory.

What does this mean?

The era of low interest rates has come to an end. The housing market has reaped the benefit of low interst rates since 2008. We suddenly seem to be in a new world of wage inflation, rising costs and mortgage misery. The recent Bank of England interest rate rise from 1.25% to 1.75% is the largest increase in 27 years. Homeowners on fixed rate mortgages (the most common type of mortgage presently) are protected from this rise. However the financial press points out that 40% of these are due to expire this year with little chance that these deals will be offered again.

The best thing that can be said of the BoE's forcast is that economists frequently get it wrong. Some commentators disagree with the bank's degree of negative outlook. Presently there are more house buyers than sellers. The housing market remains buoyed by people who have saved funds during the pandemic, fundimental changes in lifestyle in recent years and also interest from overseas investors. The strengh in the market for larger high value properties compared with smaller ones seems to bear this out.

We remain in an environment where there are multiple bids (often above the mortgagable value) for many properties.

Eyes on the ground in Kent

Previously the story seemed to be one of demand outstripping supply. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors reports that whilst new vendor instructions in the South East remain well below the national average, new buyer enquiries are falling away also. At £399,003 the average cost of housing in the South East remains the highest in the UK apart from London.

The changing landscape

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