Herd mentality and the housing market l Vesta blog

Herd mentality and the housing market

July 15, 2022

Dithering buffoons, herd mentality, and vacancies. Top dogs under fire. Howling, growling, barking, and whimpering from the peanut gallery. Lead scorers in, then out, and then back in again. Winners and losers.

Some readers might be mistaken in thinking we have just described the football transfer market but whilst similar the above is much more representative of the tumultuous UK political landscape over the recent week.

The good news is that even though we have yet another housing minister (or do we?), the housing market seems largely intact. In fact, with the pound falling against the dollar due to the political turmoil, the UK property market, if anything, has become even more attractive to US and other foreign investors.

As interest rates continue to creep up here in the UK, you might have anticipated a slight softening in buyer demand, however, the latest data from Nationwide indicates that house prices have continued to rise. The rate of increase has slowed, and this is attributed mainly to the increasing cost of debt and cost of living. There is still a significant shortage of property listings highlighted by Zoopla reporting that stock levels during May remained a third lower than the average for the past five years.

Recent events in the political landscape, the Russian/Ukrainian war, the ever-increasing cost of living, and interest rates continuing to head upwards are likely to have an impact on prices and there might be some further softening on house price growth in the coming months.

However, with demand from buyers still so high, and now a low pound vs the dollar fuelling international interest in UK property investments, it is not likely we will see a significant negative downturn in demand or prices.

Unlike many of the other asset classes available to investors, the reliability and quantum of yields available from property will continue to look very attractive as they have done for many years. So now might be the time to buy or the time to sell!

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