First-time buyers wanting to take out mortgages in Liverpool may have more reason to believe they can get an affordable deal with further signs that the surge in house price inflation is over.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed that prices rose by 9.5 per cent in the 12 months to September, down from 13.1 per cent in August.
While the main reason for the sharp drop was a large price rise in September 2021 after the introduction of new stamp duty rules, the typical house price was unchanged from August at £295,000. In England, the figure was £314,000.
This flatlining of prices is expected to be followed by an overall fall as the UK slides into recession, while mortgage interest rates could increase again soon with more base rate rises likely after the Consumer Prices Index rate of inflation rose to a 41-year high of 11.1 per cent.
However, if house prices fall this could help counterbalance higher mortgage rates, not least should the Bank of England trim rates back again a few months hence if, as it has predicted, inflation falls rapidly back towards the target rate of two per cent from the middle of 2023.
The national picture is not everything, however. There are regional and even local variations and house seller advice service PropCast has highlighted this with a range of predictions for the performance of different areas of the country.
Its list of the ten areas of the UK set to see the highest falls in house price next year did not include Liverpool or indeed any other major city, but was mainly focused on rural areas, perhaps reflecting an unwinding of the ‘race for space’ during the pandemic that saw people looking to move from urban areas to the countryside.
However, the buyer demand map does contain hints for Merseyside buyers. Most of the country is shaded in orange, indicating a seller’s market, but the scattering of blue patches of buyer markets includes one around central and north Liverpool. Apart from three blue patches in Cumbria, it is the only ‘buyer’s market’ in the north west of England.