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House prices in June, earnings for homebuyers, rents up, house prices in the National Parks

Whether or not a new government gives your buy to let business a boost, there’s no doubt that landlords who keep abreast of the latest UK property news are more likely to prosper.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the recent headlines.

Nationwide House Price Index for June

A picture of underlying stability is reflected in the latest house price index for June, says the Nationwide Building Society in its latest report:

  • average prices across the country inched up by a meagre 0.2% in June;
  • this had the effect of raising the annual house price index by just 1.3% from May to June of this year;
  • with an increase of those proportions, average UK property prices remain approximately 3% below the records reached in the summer of 2022;
  • market activity has also been relatively sluggish with the volume of transactions falling by some 15% compared with five years ago;
  • there was a drop of almost 25% in the number of transactions supported by a mortgage, yet cash transactions recorded volumes over those reached before the Covid pandemic
  • although the growth rate in average earnings is beginning to catch up with the increase in house prices, earners still struggle to afford mortgages that remain at rates significantly higher than they were just three years ago.

What income do you need to buy a home in 2024

Most people know that you’ll need a fair amount of money to buy a house. But the question of just how much that is likely to be was addressed in a blog on the listings website Zoopla on the 20th of June:

  • if you’re the average first-time buyer, let’s say, you’d need an income of £60,000 – that’s currently equal to twice what the average person earns in a year;
  • if you already own your home but want to buy a bigger one, you’ll need an average of £72,600;
  • these findings reveal that first-time buyers now have to find an extra £2,400 compared with last year and homeowners in search of a bigger house will need an extra £3,400;
  • in terms of affordability, those on lower incomes might want to house hunt in the north of England or Scotland.

UK property rents on the rise again

Average rents across the UK are up yet again, according to a story in the Financial Times on the 3rd of July:

  • outside of the capital, average rents have now reached £1,316 – some 7% higher than 12 months ago;
  • this is significantly higher than the prevailing average of 2% a year before the pandemic;
  • nevertheless, an increase of 7% is still well below the record 12% increases of more recent years;
  • rents in London paint a different picture since demand has fallen (a drop of 15%) and supply of rental accommodation has increased (by an estimated 16%);
  • even in London, though, affordability remains a challenge, with an average of 41% of salary spent on rent – which is an average £2,652 each month;
  • some of the biggest rent increases outside of the capital include NE England (11%), the West Midlands (10%), and Scotland (9%).

How much more do you pay for a home in a National Park?

It might be every homeowner’s dream, but how much would it actually cost to buy a house in one of the National Marks? The Daily Mail on the 8th of June suggested an answer.

Quoting estate agents Savills, the newspaper revealed that homebuyers are prepared to pay an average premium of a staggering £422,225 to live in one of the National Parks. That represents an additional 51% on top of the current average house price in the surrounding districts.

The most sought-after locations appear to be:

  • homes near Chichester Harbour in West Sussex where houses cost an average of £983,389 – or an additional 442,957 on other prices in the county;
  • the Gower Peninsula in South Wales – where you’d need to pay a premium of at least 121%; and
  • along the shores of Loch Lomond in Scotland – where buyers are willing to pay more than 114% more than in surrounding areas.

National Parks and other landscapes designated for their beauty already cover some 22% of the UK and further areas are likely to be added in due course.

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