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Your July market update

Is the market cooling off? What do government shifts mean for the market? We've got it all in your July update.

couple home

The property market is continuing to move at a pace — whether it’s the ongoing speculation about the housing market or the prospect of new housing policies brought in with the new Prime Minister, there’s a lot going on this month. That’s why we’re here to give you the lowdown on everything property-related – we look past the headlines, cut through the jargon, and get down to the facts, looking at what the changes in the housing market mean for you. Welcome to your July monthly update.

Will things cool off?

We all know that the housing market has been a bit uncertain over the past few months. Market update regulars will know that experts have been predicting a property cool down in the not-too-distant future for quite some time now. But still the market has hung on, defiantly, and – though the first signs of a chill seem to be appearing – it’s not quite the temperature drop we’ve all been bracing ourselves for. So how are things looking this month? 

Well, it seems that house prices are staying at a similar rate and in some cases they’re even rising – for now. A survey carried out by The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors reported that 65% of professionals have seen price increases this month, with many homes even selling above the asking price. A whopping half of the survey participants said that average sales prices have come in above the asking prices for properties that have been listed up to £500,000. This is being attributed to the same problems we’ve been seeing for a while now – the age-old issue of a heightened demand for housing met with a continued lack of supply.

But there is one significant change this month which may be a sign of things to come – buyers’ interest seems to be starting to drop off. The survey also reported that 27% of professionals reported a fall in interest from potential buyers. Why? Well, it could be that the squeeze on household budgets and the rise in mortgage interest rates is starting to take hold.

What will the next Prime Minister do to combat the housing crisis? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see."

The weather is not the only thing that has been getting hotter and hotter this month – so has the political situation, with the Conservative leadership race in full swing. Tory leadership hopefuls, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, have been debating their policies on everything from the cost-of-living crisis to climate change, but one issue has remained noticeably absent from the recent televised debates: the housing crisis. 

With the continued issues surrounding cladding, rents getting higher (alongside a shortage of rental properties) and the widening gap between rising house prices and the squeeze on household incomes, many commentators have noted that there’s been no talk of housing policy amongst the leadership contenders.

As Prudence Ivey writes in the Evening Standard: “While this week’s heatwave helped force the issue around climate change in the leadership debates, the UK’s housing crisis has been trundling along more or less uninterrupted for more than a decade.”

It was only back in June (which, after such an eventful month, feels like a life-time ago) that we looked into Prime Minister, Boris Johnson’s plans to potentially extend the Right to Buy scheme and to allow people to use their housing benefits to pay for mortgages. But, with the situation having changed so drastically since June, there’s no guarantee that these plans will come to fruition. 

What will the next Prime Minister do to combat the housing crisis? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see. Nobody can predict what the next few months have in store for the housing market. It’s definitely an uncertain time but, whatever happens, we’ll be keeping an eye on the situation as it unfolds – and, most importantly, keeping you updated on everything you need to know.