Nationwide February HPI

ended 01. March 2022

Tomorrow morning, at 07:00, the Nationwide is publishing its February house price index. Some Qs below.

  • How was the property market in your experience during February?
  • Bank of England mortgage data published today shows mortgage approvals were at a six-month high in January so there's still clearly activity - is this what you're seeing?
  • Are the cost of living crisis, rising rates and tax hikes going to apply downward pressure to house prices in 2022, or will the lack of stock support them?
  • Are lenders getting more stringent with their affordability calculations?

Any other observations, send them over. Do NOT write more than two paragraphs — brevity is the soul of wit. If you're a Premium Newspager, your response will be edited and appear towards the top of the alert so is more likely to be used by the media.

4 responses from the Newspage community

"2022 is set to be the year of the Great Remortgage. The lack of stock and growing concerns about the cost of living and rate rises mean a growing number of would-be movers will be more inclined to sit tight and remortgage rather than move. There's been a noticeable increase in remortgaging due to consecutive base rate rises and people's concerns about the skyrocketing cost of living. It's likely mortgage affordability will be impacted once the National Insurance tax rise comes into effect and energy prices rise further. And let's not forget the fact that the Bank of England raising the base rate again in March when the Monetary Policy Committee meets is an odds-on certainty. We may well see more people seeking debt consolidation mortgages and remortgages to give them a little more disposable income and breathing room given the financial squeeze. However, people should think carefully about securing any debt against their home. As always, get in touch with a good quality broker to understand your options."
"We're arguably witnessing the calm before the storm. For now, interest rate rises and the increase in the cost of living don't appear to have impacted the property market, with people still keen to get onto, or move up, the ladder. However, as the year progresses, rate rises, tax hikes and the spiralling cost of living are going to bite, with lenders' affordability calculators likely to become less generous and borrowing rates heading north. This means that, even though people may still be motivated to buy, they maybe won't be able to just yet. We're unlikely to see house prices fall due to the abject lack of stock but it's hard to see much more growth in the short term."
Demand for residential mortgages has dropped off slightly in February compared to previous months. Mortgage lenders have begun to tighten their proverbial affordability belts as they look to factor in higher costs of living, together with more stringent stress-testing of applicants due higher BoE interest rates. This is where we will see the largest tempering of the mortgage market in coming months. The upper mortgage limits of new potential borrowers will reduce and ultimately slow the market to some degree. However, lack of property supply will support activity for thiose who can afford to buy.
"The property market remained active throughout February with plenty of buyer interest. First-time buyers, in particular, have taken advantage of decreased competition for flats, especially those without outside space, as buyers with families seek to trade up for more space in the post-pandemic era. Such properties also face less competition from landlords who have faced an increasing squeeze in recent years from lower tax breaks and higher regulatory costs."