Fine & Country MD Plays Down Significance Of House Price Falls

Nicky Stevenson

Predictions of price corrections need to be considered in the context of “unsustainable growth” in the market since 2020, according to Nicky Stevenson, managing director of Fine & Country UK.

The MD also insisted that correct pricing by agents is critical as the gap between marketing price and “real” price becomes more apparent.

“Price differentials are perhaps, too, a better way to consider the market,” Stevenson said. “A 10% fall on a property priced £500,000 equates to £50,000, [and] a similar fall in a property priced £1m is £100,000.

“Given the substantial price rises seen in the market over the past two years, there is only a low risk of negative equity for the vast majority of purchasers.”

The MD also observed that “sales are still transacting”, fuelled by cash buyers and those who locked into their mortgage deals prior to the mini-budget.

“Close to 950,000 sales have taken places in the first nine months of 2022, with estimated sales volumes for the year set to be in the region of 1.2 million, significantly higher than the pre-pandemic average of just over 900,0000 seen between 2015 and 2019,” she said. “Demand levels in the market have been unusually high since the end of the pandemic and are in effect returning to more normal levels.

While the Bank of England raised its base rate of interest to 3% earlier in the month, Stevenson observed that the last 13 years have seen “ultra-low” interest and inflation rates by historic standards. “It is likely that mortgage rates of 5% will be the new normal,” she said. “As the market has seen time and time again, people will continue to move, but buyers will no doubt be increasingly focused on what they can afford and the cost of a mortgage on a month-to-month basis.”

Daily news email from EYE

Enter your email below to receive the latest news each morning direct to your inbox.