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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 July 2023

Reflecting the media headlines, it’s no surprise that the latest Halifax House Price Index demonstrates a further falls in house prices. This fall was on the cards, but remains gentle at this point, with just a -0.1% monthly change since June. The cause of this sits squarely in the context of increased interest rate rises making borrowing more expensive and wider inflationary rises. Buyers are therefore more cautious in terms of what they can afford.

It’s important to note that while the stats are being picked up by the press, because house prices are now actually coming down slightly, the dip has been gradual and will continue for some time yet. The rate of house price growth was unsustainable over the immediate post-pandemic time, and this period of adjustment was both expected and necessary.

Read on to learn more about the latest data for the UK and in Kent.

The headline stats and facts

  • Average selling price: £285,932 (-0.1% monthly change)
  • Property price increases: Annual rate of growth is -2.6%, the second decline in a row. Last month saw the first annual decline since December 2012.   
  • Interest rates: 5% (up +0.5% on last month). It was 1.25% a year previously.
  • Inflation: 8.681% (down since over 10% in April, but largely steady on last month’s data)
  • Kent stats: Kent property currently spends an average of 140 days on the market (21 days longer than a year previously). There are 66% more properties on the market than in July 2022. The average selling price in Kent has increased again since last month and is now £444,400 which is 9% higher than the same period last year, but slightly less than last month.
  • RICS net balance score: New buyer enquiries indicate that we can expect further declines in future months, with new buyer enquiries at -18% although new instructions had a net balance of +14% (previously -4%).

What does this mean?

As is often the case, the media has created quite a storm of concern about falling house prices. However, this overlooks the fluctuations of the last 12 months which mean that average house prices are actually up £4000 so far this year. That is not to downplay concerns, but as Kim Kinnaird, Director, Halifax Mortgages, says,

“These latest figures do suggest a degree of stability in the face of economic uncertainty, and the volume of mortgage applications held up well throughout June, particularly from first-time buyers.”

Borrowing costs is the big thing to watch in terms of impact on the market over the coming months. Inflation combined with more expensive mortgages inevitably affects buyer confidence. As affordability comes under pressure for many, demand is likely to fall and with it, house prices overall. The recently announced Mortgage Charter goes some way to calming concerns of existing home owners, should they find their current mortgage unaffordable.

It remains hard to predict exactly how sustained the falls in prices will be, but we can certainly expect the same trend for some time yet.

What about Kent?

Once more, the Halifax House Price Index revealed that the South East is experiencing notable falls, even in the wider national picture. There is an annual fall of -0.3% in the South East, and this latest fall is the largest since July 20211. However, the Kent housing market is robust and it’s still possible to make a sale and/or a purchase when you wish. It’s also worth noting that new homes are proving more resilient to the wider market pressures.

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